Having worked in communities big and small across the continent, we’ve had ample opportunity to test ideas and find approaches that work best. Urban design details. Outreach tactics. Implementation tricks. Many of these lessons are transferable, which is why we’ve created “Back of the Envelope,” a weekly feature where we jot ’em down for your consideration.
If you’re a city or town, it’s a fair bet you’ve long since accepted the internet. People meet, pay bills, go shopping, research causes and self-diagnose illness online, and they expect to engage government in similarly convenient ways. You’re fine with that. In turn, you’ve responded with all the things they’ve clamored for: municipal websites, email updates, tools for paying fines electronically, and more.
Now you’re all caught up with their expectations. Or at least you were, until Web 2.0, the social web, came along. Now there’s new benchmarks and, once again, your constituents expect you to get on board.