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New Plan Helps Coquitlam Navigate the World of TechnologyCity of Coquitlam
COQUITLAM – Touchscreen kiosks, expanded Wi-Fi in City facilities and parks, mobile apps for citizens, and “smart” buildings are among the technological solutions Coquitlam will consider or adopt in the coming years.
The City’s new Technology Roadmap, a year in the making, will guide how the City will choose and use technology over the next five years to improve its business functions and services to the community. The plan calls for upgrades to existing systems as well as consideration of new and emerging technologies.
With this year’s planned improvements, for example, residents will be able to access Wi-Fi at Spani Pool, find out how much parking is available at Town Centre Park from a digital sign, and get information or provide feedback through interactive touchscreen tablets or kiosks set up in public spaces.
Other plans for 2018 include building a new citizen engagement mobile app, piloting Skype for Business and video conferencing, and testing out video analytics software to help the RCMP respond to safety concerns.
Coquitlam’s Information and Communications Technology division started working on the plan in 2016 with a view to making sure the most effective technology is being used, and meeting the City’s needs now and into the future.
The plan will also help the City navigate the rapidly-changing world of technology by providing a method to identify, evaluate, prioritize and implement new solutions as they become available or cost-effective.
Initiatives are grouped under six strategies that reflect the City’s operations, Strategic Plan and feedback from the annual Ipsos Reid Citizen Survey:
- Improve citizen services and customer experience: including public engagement, citizen feedback on services, and payment options.
- Develop smart transportation solutions: including a parking app.
- Maintain public safety and security: including use of video analytics by the RCMP.
- Improve operational efficiency and productivity: including automating manual tasks, use of data analytics for better decision-making, and readiness to adopt new technology such as virtual reality.
- Empower staff to be better at what they do: including improved access to interactive training and collaborative tools.
- Migrate towards a “smart city” (a city that collects and uses electronic data to be more efficient and effective): including exploring emerging technologies for connected buildings, spaces and vehicles.
Development of the Technology Roadmap included extensive research, a close look at staff technology use and needs, a community survey, input from the Youth Council, and expertise from a technology consultant.
The City directs funds each year to technology upgrades, and projects identified in the plan will be brought forward during the annual business plan and budgeting process. Funding for the 2018 projects is already secured.
More information about the plan can be found on the Smart Cities Challenge webpage.
Manager Information Communications & Technology
Finance and Technology