Enhancing public communications: Innovation powered by PRIME for Cities

With numerous infrastructure projects underway in the City of Toronto, many residents are feeling the impacts and are hungry for information. Here’s how WSP is strengthening public communication in the age of infrastructure renewal.

The pressure to build public infrastructure to service new growth and development while maintaining, rehabilitating or replacing aging infrastructure has resulted in a multi-million dollar investment by the City of Toronto toward capital works projects. As part of this investment, the City rehabilitates more than 130 km of watermains each year to help extend the life of its aging water infrastructure.

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The Communications Management Dashboard (CMD) is an interactive mapping tool and database that was developed by WSP to allow for the mapping, storage and analysis of public communications in a manner that is scalable over time.

The interactive database has the potential to increase our ability to assess the impacts of city-wide construction with a high level of integration. To assist with the high volume of communication received, we have leveraged our in-house interactive geospatial platform known as PRIME for Cities, to collect, assess and analyze enquiries from the public. The CMD is a custom PRIME module that allows us to quickly identify areas of concern, address them and deliver better solutions to the client.

Kilometers of watermain in the City of Toronto that are rehabilitated each year.
+ 125 km
Total Number of project-related Inquiries Logged in the Communications Management Dashboard (2017-2019).
+ 3,800
Years WSP has managed the Watermain Rehabilitation, including Cathodic Protection Program, for the City of Toronto.
4 years

Enhanced communications

WSP serves as the program manager and contract administrator for Toronto Water’s Watermain Rehabilitation and Cathodic Protection Program. Our multidisciplinary project team is comprised of engineers, contract administrators and planners as field ambassadors.

Each year, the program is comprised of over 20 watermain rehabilitation project sites across the City.

A key component of the program’s success is a sound public communications approach throughout the lifespan of each project site. Our approach to communications is future-oriented, as we must consider the short and long-term implications of our work on the communities we serve. We must remain flexible and strategic in order to respond to diverse societal and environmental conditions, and be prepared for challenges before they arise.

 

Looking to the future

The CMD assists in the identification of trends and impacts in order to better plan for the future. In 2019, use of the CMD was expanded to the City of Toronto’s Coordinated Water and Transportation program, where it continues to serve as an important tool to help manage public communications, correspondence and issues.

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We strive to develop new methods to integrate technology into our communication systems to make them more consistent, robust and reliable. We are continually discovering ways to bridge lines of communication which are key to program success and conflict mitigation.


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