If you are like me, you are driving around Dover and seeing a lot of development happening. I think this is great as it means our city will continue to be a vibrant place to live work and play. However, if you are like me, you also want to know the details…
- What is being built?
- How will it look?
- How will it impact traffic?
- Why did we decide it would be a good idea?
- What is the benefit to the city (tax payers)?
- What did we have to give up to get it?
- Will it be consistent with our culture in Dover?
- etc. etc. etc.
Well, to get those answers I think you would be searching for a long time. Unless you went and talked to the planning board in Dover. I think Dover is a pretty accessible city, meaning that you can absolutely find answers to anything going on in Dover, but it is not as easy as it probably should be. I think there should be a way for the public to discuss development in Dover from the perspectives noted above and others that resident feel passionate about. These discussions should happen in public where we can solicit criticism, both positive and negative to make sure we fully understand where the public stands on everything happening in the city. To me this comes down to technology. Today, we can access information in seconds from our devices and we are accustomed to this way of living our lives. I see no reason why we couldn’t enable Dover to leverage existing technology to start public engagement and dialog related to what is happening in the city.
What if there was an app where you…
- Could get information at the moment in which you need it to form opinions on matters
- Submit issues that you are observing back to the city that will solicit a response from a city official
- Engage with city hall directly to stay informed
Well, lucky for us, other people have already solved this issue in other cities across the country. I think Dover would well serve the public to find new ways to communicate and engage its residents by using more modern techniques and technology. We are a connected community these days through our devices, lets capitalize on that culture norm and connect the city.
Here are two companies doing this today:
It may be worth considering, as Dover is growing, could we take advantage of modern and social means to improve public engagement in our growth and future trajectory of the city. I think so, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with the city to bring something like this to Dover.
What do you think?