Toronto should overhaul its internal and external communication strategies to ensure coordination across departments as well as reduce barriers to public engagement.
Pros: Essential for democratic process, low costs of improving language, highlights the work that the city is already doing that the public may not be aware of – particularly progressive policies like green roofs.
Cons: High costs of improving design of communication channels, including changes to the website, development proposal billboards, and special event information. The onus should be on citizens – the information is already out there.
The City of Toronto does a poor job communicating with residents and businesses. It’s website is inaccessible, out of date, and complicated to navigate. Online platforms should be improved to increase civic engagement, particularly with regards to petitions to allow small, medium and larger issues to reach city hall faster. Toronto needs to do a better job of communicating the impacts and reasons behind current and future development projects and policies.
Image credit: City of Toronto, Flickr creative commons