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Image: The beta version of StreetARToronto’s web map, showing the location of murals across Toronto
Bringing Civic Tech and Government Together in Toronto
Population: 2.93 million
When the city of Toronto launched a Graffiti Management Plan, little did the residents know that it would not only result in reducing graffiti vandalism but also in replacing it with vibrant, colorful, community-engaged street art.
If one might think that the government is slow and resistant to change, the city of Toronto is aiming to prove them wrong. In a recent article on Medium article, Code for Canada shares how the city was in need of an interactive map to know where the graffiti was in the city, to replace it with art, and took action.
It only took six months to StreetARToronto (StART), a team within the City of Toronto, to build and incorporate feedback from users and the community along the way. The city decided to try a more agile and iterative development process, divided into smaller, more manageable phases. This model allowed the city to work more effectively with the Civic Tech community.
Not only was graffiti vandalism reduced but it was also replaced with vibrant, colorful, community-engaged street art. The map is now mostly used for people wanting to discover murals across the city. Collaboration with the Civic Tech community was the key to success.
In this article on Medium, Code for Canada shares how there is now a reflection about how the functionality of the app could be used for other events happening across the city such as food festivals.
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