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ADVERTISEMENT PlaceSpeak – A New Online Public Engagement Tool PlaceSpeak is the first location-based community consultation platform that connects citizen users with government or private organizations. It allows them to engage on topics taking place in their own neighbourhoods or issues that they have an interest in. The platform connects people’s online identities with their residential addresses so that they can voice their opinions electronically in a wide variety of topics. This provides organizations with confidence that they are receiving feedback from the right places. Here are two examples to demonstrate how the PlaceSpeak platform has been used in different jurisdictions: 1 The Pattullo Bridge is an important transportation link engagement to be used. PlaceSpeak was selected between the cities of New Westminster and Surrey, in the as the online engagement tool because it allows for Metro Vancouver area of the Province of British Columbia. geographic based feedback; provides evidence based The bridge is 75 years old and a decision was made by the decisions; and adheres to the International Association regional transportation authority, TransLink Board of Directors, of Public Participation (IAP2) Spectrum of Public in 2008 to pursue a replacement solution. The proposed Participation. solution was to replace the bridge with a 6-lane bridge funnelling traffic directly into the main part of New Westminster. New Westminster Council direction was given in April 2012 to implement a consultation plan for the purpose of obtaining public feedback on the Pattullo Bridge Project and to develop the City’s view on the project. As part of the consultation plan, New Westminster Council asked for emerging tools such as online PlaceSpeak provided a web-based platform alongside with New Westminster’s traditional engagement efforts. Online participants were able to see the same materials as open house attendees and complete the same survey. In short, using PlaceSpeak provided New Westminster with important community feedback that helped the City convince TransLink to consider alternatives to its proposal for a 6-lane replacement of the Pattullo Bridge.