Online public participation platforms are becoming increasingly popular among municipal governments. They make it easy for residents to read about local issues and participate in the discussion surrounding them by using a smartphone app or logging into a website. Providing an online public participation platform is a great way to boost civic engagement and get a better perspective on how residents of your city feel about the projects and laws your local government is proposing. To learn more about how an online public participation platform can help you reach more of your citizens, read on.
1. Makes It More Convenient for Residents to Participate in Government Decisions
One of the major downsides of relying on in-person meetings for interacting with residents is that these meetings can be difficult for many residents to attend. It's particularly difficult for less well-off residents to take time off work and find the transportation and childcare necessary to attend meetings held at the city hall.
Integrating an online public participation platform into your local government has a major benefit in making it much easier for your residents to participate in urban planning. These platforms can be accessed via smartphone, so there's no need to travel to public meetings. Civic engagement becomes more convenient, leading to greater participation.
2. Gives You a More Balanced Perspective on Resident Views
Another downside of relying solely on in-person meetings is that they tend to attract residents who are very passionate about the subject matter that's being discussed. Residents who may not feel strongly about proposed ordinances typically don't feel the need to attend, so their voices are never heard.
Unfortunately, this can give your local government a biased view of how the voters feel about the issues that are being discussed. By bringing in residents with moderate views, your local government will gain a better feeling of how your proposed decisions affect all of your citizens rather than just those who are most passionate about your proposals.
3. Allows Residents Who Aren't Familiar With Government Processes to Participate
Online public participation platforms go further than just allowing residents to become informed about local issues and give their opinion on them. You can also use them to allow residents to suggest new ordinances or development projects in your city.
Some of your residents may have great ideas, but they may not know how to use the traditional avenues of voicing them to your city such as contacting their representatives. Online public participation platforms are easy for residents to use, allowing you to hear policy suggestions from residents who have traditionally been neglected by older in-person meetings. They'll gain the chance to help shape the direction of your local government.
Overall, an online public participation platform is a great way to boost engagement among your residents, and it's especially useful for soliciting feedback from residents who were previously uninvolved with local government. If your city is still relying on in-person meetings to discuss policy with residents, consider moving towards a different model by integrating an online public participation platform, like that of Stepherson & Associates Communications - InfoCommunity, into your government.