PlaceSpeak launches ‘Neighbourhoods’ in Surrey

GeoSocial network allows residents in specific areas to connect and share information.

PlaceSpeak has announced the launch of a new, free service called “Neighbourhoods,” which allows residents within the boundaries of specific neighbourhoods to communicate privately with one another online. The company is launching this new service in 27 Surrey neighbourhoods.

PlaceSpeak is a location-based consultation platform launched in 2011 and developed with the support of the National Research Council of Canada. PlaceSpeak was developed to solve the problem of how to consult with people online within specific geographical boundaries.

Until now, PlaceSpeak has enabled communication between proponents of public consultations and residents within defined geographical boundaries to ensure meaningful and civil discussion.

The release of Neighbourhoods represents a shift which allows residents living within specific neighbourhood boundaries to connect privately with others in their own neighbourhood. With Neighbourhoods, PlaceSpeak aims to promote positive engagement among neighbours. Key features of the GeoSocial platform include a community notice board, events calendar and neighbour messaging.

Neighbourhoods is a GeoSocial network for residents who have been verified as residing within specific boundaries. PlaceSpeak aims to help people become more connected and engaged to one another, to their neighbours and neighbourhood, and to their larger community. Participants within neighbourhoods can connect with each another, post items of interest on a community noticeboard and create and share local events.

Both the City of Surrey and the Surrey School District have conducted consultations using the innovative PlaceSpeak platform beginning in 2012. Since then, approximately 1,250 residents from Surrey have registered with PlaceSpeak.

“Our new service, Neighbourhoods, will help residents become more engaged in their community,” says Colleen Hardwick, CEO of PlaceSpeak. “All too often we hear that people don’t know who lives on their own block, let alone in the community at-large. There’s a lot of hyper local information that can be shared online; simple things like reporting incidences of crime, sharing public safety notices, finding lost pets, or recommending babysitters. Neighbourhoods provides an opportunity for individuals to connect with other neighbours on an online platform.”

Sonya Marcinkowska, secretary of the Panorama Neighbourhood Association, one of the neighbourhood associations in Surrey, says it’s important for neighbours to be able to communicate, get involved and connect with their community.

“The Panorama Neighbourhood Association is looking forward to watching PlaceSpeak grow and effectively connect our residents.”

Surrey neighbourhoods include: Bolivar Heights, Bridgeview, Clayton, Cloverdale, Crescent Beach, Douglas, Elgin, Fleetwood, Fraser Heights, Grandview Heights, Green Timbers, Guildford, Hazelmere, Morgan Heights, Newton, Ocean Park, Panorama Ridge, Panorama Village/Sullivan, Port Kells, Redwood Park, Semiahmoo, South Newton, South Westminster, Surrey City Centre, Tynehead, West Panorama Ridge, and Whalley.

The launch of Neighbourhoods comes hot on the heels of last month’s launch of PlaceSpeak’s land use change notification system, which allows residents to be notified online about proposed land use changes within their immediate area. PlaceSpeak will use its unique “geolocation” process to send notifications directly to residents who want to know what is being planned for their area and will ensure they are well informed and properly engaged in the decision-making process.

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