With more and more city residents becoming engaged in social media, municipal planning departments are taking notice. Across the country, many cities are responding to the trend by embedding themselves within social media networks and reaching out to constituents like never before. The cities are putting themselves out there on Twitter and allowing anyone to “follow” their every move, planning departments are breaking down barriers and increasing transparency.
Cities all across North America like Portland, San Francisco, and Ottawa are signing up for their own accounts. Not all Twitter accounts are straight facts about community information and zoning adjustments. Here are a few of the more interesting city planning departments that you should be following on Twitter:
- Seattle Planning Commission (@SeattlePlanCom) This independent advisory council’s newly minted Twitter feed mixes city business with fun, informative tweets for the Emerald City. Using Twitter, the planning commission not only informs residents of site updates and ways to provide feedback, but also offers fans ways to score sweet merchandise by showing their city pride.
- Providence Department of Planning (@ProvPlanning) Providence may be small, but the self-proclaimed “Creative Capital” has a strong Twitter following thanks to its frequent feed as well the department’s recent showing at the 2011 APA Conference. Peer accounts like @indowncitypvd and @gcpvd keep residents up to date on the goings on and future plans of the Rhode Island Capital. Plus, they’re hiring.
- Chicago Metrpolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) (@GOTO2040) Want to get daily updates on one of the nation’s largest comprehensive plans? CMAP’s feed for their 2040 plan, which will affect over 9 million people, keeps followers in the know regarding all aspects of the plan including food systems and transportation infrastructure.
- Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) (@BostonRedevelop) With nearly 2,000 followers, the BRA’s Twitter feed is a mix of up-to-date news involving city and urban planning affairs plus retweets of important Boston related information. With a wide mix of planning educators, advocates and professionals living and working in Boston, the BRA’s feed best represents the city’s exciting and progressive planning products.
- Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) (@PhilaPlanning) I may have a soft-spot for my newly adopted hometown, but with nearly 400 followers and a growing network of peer accounts such as; PlanPhilly and Mayor Nutter’s feed, PCPC keeps residents abreast of urban milestones. They also invite residents to actively participate in planning affairs. Expect this rising star to gain more traction.
Are there any that we’ve missed that you’ve found to be particularly engaging and interesting?