Let’s get City Hall online • Recommendation # 35

(The Fourth Wall exhibit has 36 recommendations.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll highlight a few of them….)


Recommendation # 35:
Free and open Wi-fi should be immediately installed at City Hall and all Civic Centres.

Coffee shops have known for many years that providing Wi-Fi is a great way to attract customers.  And universities, libraries and City Halls across North America have been installing Wi-Fi to increase accessibility and participation – since 1994.  Here’s a timeline, illustrating how far behind we are:

click on image for larger version (design by Adam Zinzan-Harris)

Having wi-fi at city hall would:

➊ Make it easier for citizens to attend meetings during work hours.
➋ Encourage citizens to interact with the proceedings by downloading reports, viewing agendas, tracking votes and submitting written deputations directly to the Clerk.
➌ Allow more citizens to use Facebook and Twitter at City Hall, raising public awareness about Council issues and procedures.

The irony of all this, is that the City has won awards for their amazing user-friendly City Council web portal … but most of us can’t access it at City Hall!

Here are some photos I’ve taken recently to help inspire the City:

5 responses to “Let’s get City Hall online • Recommendation # 35

  1. God forbid. Enable tweeting at City Hall? Anarchy!

  2. This is also an area where the city could be all “efficient”, which is all the rage these days. The Toronto Public Library offers free wifi at every branch, including their City Hall branch. Instead of sticking City IT or the Clerk’s Office with the hassle of maintaining a network in Council Chambers, work with TPL to extend their wireless signal throughout City Hall.

  3. I’d also like to see the “311″ service have a facebook page

  4. Great, Dave!

    Perhaps the City Hall Wi-Fi could be used to broadcast Union/City contract negotiations via the net; a tactic I recommended in my Political Essays website after the Miller/Garbage strike fiasco to hasten the process and make such negotiations more honest [i.e. cut the BS and get down to real and just settlements] on BOTH sides by having both the citizenry and union rank-and-file watching their representatives at work around the bargaining table.

    Nothing like performing in front of your “employers” to bring out the best in you (and to have them see just what kind of a negotiator you are!) –and, of course the juiciest tidbits of deceitful negotiation could be picked up by the Toronto paparazzi and punditry for the TV ‘newscasts’ and daily ‘news’. [Great potential circulation booster! Editorial and station management would love it.]

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