The health of local information and it's gift

West Toronto in addition to being half of Toronto is a city of places. Usually tight communities that are relatively small, they are glued together to form the whole of West Toronto (WTO). Right now it can be said to be overrun with community groups, residents associations, development watch groups, special interest groups – “you’re not going to close this school” and many more.

All of these groups produce and cause a lot of information to be created but not widely distributed. Many concerns and much of the happiness generated in local neighbourhoods are of interest to many if not all of the other communities. “Media” play an important role in moving this information around, but they can never do it all. Joining together in a combined effort the communities of WTO could move most of the information into each others view and the workload of each community and each counsellor would greatly decrease as situational advantages and problem solving successes could easily be distributed and shared.

This chart from the Knight Commission sets out some of the advantages

How Information is Used By Communities
For problem solving To decide how to achieve community goals or solve community problems for public as a whole.
For coordination To mobilize people and resources more effectively to address community needs, e.g., emergency relief, park clean-up, recycling, food distribution.
For accountability To bolster legitimacy by demonstrating that individuals and organizations in power are performing their roles in lawful, democratically supported and socially appropriate ways.
For creating systems of meaning To form a narrative of community that supports a common identity in support of mutual trust, cooperation, and engagement.

(The chart has been redacted for clarity, that is, I took out the column on how individuals use information), to see the complete chart use this link.

Leave a Reply