City of Penticton Case Study
A brief overview of how the City of Penticton built community engagement around the question “What Could Make Our Parks and Recreation Facilities and Programs Better in the Future?”
The City of Penticton BC (population around 30,000) adopted EngagementHQ as their online engagement platform in May 2016 launching Shape Your City Penticton by asking the community “What Could Make Our Parks and Recreation Facilities and Programs Better in the Future?” a question that yielded 147 ideas from the community. Since then the City has engaged the community on a range of issues such as how to fund infrastructure improvements and answering questions about the fire department.
Over the 9 months their site has been live they have had direct feedback from 460 residents and have provided information to another 2600 people.
Asked about the experience, JoAnne Kleb, Community Engagement Specialist at the City of Penticton spoke about how the city’s adoption of online engagement was part of the City’s commitment to authentic engagement, providing accurate content, and truly listening to the community. She said that the City was particularly keen to engage working people who were usually under-represented in traditional engagement processes.
JoAnne also found other advantages of online engagement:
“Online engagement significantly improved the efficiency of our engagement activity.”
She describes EngagementHQ as:
“very easy to use” and found the help desk system especially valuable.But she attributes some of the city’ s success to working through existing email channels and community groups to promote the site and she emphasized the need to “continue to build and promote to raise awareness”.
As for the future, JoAnne described http://shapeyourcitypentiction.ca as foundational to their strategy to grow community engagement in the City:
“As an organization, we have not tapped into the full potential of EngagementHQ. I see that it has the capability to do much more!”