GIS Helps in Informing the Public

Blog_GISHelpsinInformingthePublic.png

One of the hardest and maybe the most important things a local
government can do is to ensure that the public is made aware of what is
happening internally. For transparency ultimately brings more
understanding on why decisions are made and how those decisions are
going to be carried out.

For the City of Park Ridge, IL, transparency comes in the form of
newsletters, website postings and published council meeting videos. On
top of all this there is also the occasional public meeting set up to
address a specific matter. As of late, there have been multiple storms
that have left certain neighborhoods in disarray and have had the
residents of these neighborhoods asking specific questions about
flooding. For these special cases the City will sometimes call for a
public meeting to be held between certain City staff members and
residents of the affected neighborhood with the purpose focused on
education.

Most recently the City’s Engineering Department hosted a public
meeting with the residents of one north side neighborhood to brief them
on the way the City’s sewer system works as well as how the topography
of the land can affect where water may flow in times of heavy rain.
General descriptions are always good but the Engineering Department felt
that having maps to aid those in their discussion would prove more
beneficial when trying to educate these residents on a topic they knew
little about. For this request the City used their Geographical
Information Systems (GIS) Department to construct specific maps showing
where water goes within the sewer utility system as well as what water
may do given the lay of the land in that specific neighborhood. Based
on the response from the meeting, it turns out that these maps were very
helpful in making a tough topic more understandable as well as
demonstrating to the public that the City is persistent in maintaining a
transparent atmosphere.

GIS Helps in Informing the Public

Blog_GISHelpsinInformingthePublic.png

One of the hardest and maybe the most important things a local
government can do is to ensure that the public is made aware of what is
happening internally. For transparency ultimately brings more
understanding on why decisions are made and how those decisions are
going to be carried out.

For the City of Park Ridge, IL, transparency comes in the form of
newsletters, website postings and published council meeting videos. On
top of all this there is also the occasional public meeting set up to
address a specific matter. As of late, there have been multiple storms
that have left certain neighborhoods in disarray and have had the
residents of these neighborhoods asking specific questions about
flooding. For these special cases the City will sometimes call for a
public meeting to be held between certain City staff members and
residents of the affected neighborhood with the purpose focused on
education.

Most recently the City’s Engineering Department hosted a public
meeting with the residents of one north side neighborhood to brief them
on the way the City’s sewer system works as well as how the topography
of the land can affect where water may flow in times of heavy rain.
General descriptions are always good but the Engineering Department felt
that having maps to aid those in their discussion would prove more
beneficial when trying to educate these residents on a topic they knew
little about. For this request the City used their Geographical
Information Systems (GIS) Department to construct specific maps showing
where water goes within the sewer utility system as well as what water
may do given the lay of the land in that specific neighborhood. Based
on the response from the meeting, it turns out that these maps were very
helpful in making a tough topic more understandable as well as
demonstrating to the public that the City is persistent in maintaining a
transparent atmosphere.