“By leveraging the suite of configurable templates built on the Canadian Municipal Data Model, we have been able to deliver the information needed by stakeholders quickly and efficiently. The Community Map of Canada basemap offers greater control of the information and reduces errors as it can be updated effortlessly.”
- Patrice Pitre, Head of Geomatics and Information System Division, City of Repentigny
Connecting citizens and municipal staff with information quickly and effectively is a key characteristic of a smart community. For municipalities with limited budget and staffing resources, investing in technology that can inform citizens and staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week can be challenging. Ville de Repentigny—a suburban community located north of Montréal with a population of 85,000—has addressed this by leveraging out-of-the-box tools available through ArcGIS Online.
Repentigny’s geomatics division and information system configured a series of map-based web apps entirely in-house that deliver information to citizens and staff quickly and efficiently.
"We wanted to ensure that we have high-quality maps that load quickly," said Patrice Pitre, head of geomatics and information system division, City of Repentigny. "We also wanted to be able to easily and securely update these maps. Esri’s cloud platform has helped us to achieve this goal. "
In 2004, Québec’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs, in association with the Québec Federation of Municipalities, released a guide that recommended how the province’s municipalities should plan, implement and manage geomatics. To address this, Repentigny hired a GIS consultant to conduct a needs assessment study and create an action plan.
The study identified several areas for improvement and proposed the adoption of a GIS platform that would increase Repentigny’s ability to deliver citizen services. Further, the City concluded that the optimal solution was to configure a web GIS app that will collect, organize and display information about the municipal services that were being provided.
In 2013, Repentigny became the first municipality in Québec to implement Esri Canada’s ArcGIS for Canadian Municipalities, which includes a series of comprehensive and configurable apps built on a harmonized Canadian Municipal Data Model. They used the solution to deploy several web apps, namely: My Municipal Services; Find an Address; Parks, Buildings and Heritage; Districts and Municipal Councillors; and Seniors Services, environmental resources directory, garage/yard sales organized twice per year.
My Municipal Services is undoubtedly the most popular among these apps. It allows you to view all of the services Repentigny provides to citizens in a single window. For example, you can find the dates for the next garbage collection for your neighbourhood or look up the location and opening hours for various municipal buildings. The app also allows you to calculate the route to your building of interest.
Citizens of Ville de Repentigny can quickly look up information related to municipal services using an app configured by the City’s geomatics team.
Working closely with Esri Canada, Repentigny relied on a basemap that has been created through the Community Map of Canada Program, which is a collaborative mapping initiative aimed at sharing geographic information with the public online.
“By leveraging the suite of configurable templates built on the Canadian Municipal Data Model, we have been able to deliver the information needed by stakeholders quickly and efficiently. As well, the Community Map of Canada basemap offers greater control of the information and reduces errors as it can be updated effortlessly.”
Since these new apps were released, metrics tracking their usage demonstrate that citizens are embracing this technology. Citizens spend an average of 2.5-3 minutes viewing the mapping section on the City’s website – that’s the longest average time spent on any section of the site. During peak moving periods, the citizens benefit from reliable and fast access on environmental collection services. More than 2000 sessions are recorded per month. During the municipal electoral period of 2013, nearly 9,600 consultations of the City’s polling station locator app were recorded.
The apps have been so well-received that other organizations have also taken notice. Last June, Ville de Repentigny received the prestigious OCTAS award for their My Municipal Services app from the IT ACTION Network, which recognizes organizations for their creativity, vitality and exceptional contribution to the growth of the information technology industry in Québec.