The City of Toronto’s Web 2.0 Summit held November 26th and 27th will go down in history as the moment that Government 2.0 landed in Toronto. The truly historical moment was Mark Surman’s keynote at lunch, with an audience that included Mayor David Miller. Surman posed three challenges to the City:
- Open our data. transit. library catalogues. community centre schedules. maps. 311. expose it all so the people of Toronto can use it to make a better city. do it now.
- Crowdsource info gathering that helps the city. somebody would have FixMyStreet.to up and running in a week if the Mayor promised to listen. encourage it.
- Ask for help creating a city that thinks like the web. copy Washington, DC’s contest strategy. launch it at BarCamp.
The Mayor responded immediately by pre-announcing that TTC routing data would be opened up in Google Transit format in June of 2009, and said that, while he couldn’t promise that the City would be ready to process the output, that Toronto’s web geeks should go ahead and do a Toronto version of FixMyStreet and that City would listen. This is huge.
The moment was the culmination of a lot of our hopes and dreams for a city that understands the power of open, the meaning of participation and a signal of a more effective and responsive government of and for the people of Toronto. Will Pate and I have offered our assistance to make this vision a reality and we hope others will join us.
Mark’s presentation was excellent and highly recommended. I have embedded the slides here, but you should go to Mark’s blog for the full audio presentation (and audio of Mayor Miller’s response) for the full effect.