04/03/2013 05:56 EDT | Updated 04/03/2013 06:00 EDT

Surrey Town Halls Transformed With 'City Speaks'


B.C.'s fastest growing city has launched a new website for residents to share their opinions and feedback with city hall on topics ranging from new developments to new parks.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts unveiled the "City Speaks" platform on Wednesday afternoon which offers people a new way to "help shape the future of our city," she said.

Anyone 16 years or older who is a Surrey resident, taxpayer, or business owner can join the "City Speaks" program, which is available on desktop computers, tablets and smart phones.

Unlike one-time public meetings, the website will allow people to give the city ongoing, comprehensive feedback, explained Shachi Kurl, director of communications for Vision Critical, the B.C. based company behind the software.

Organizers and city officials hope the info shared on the website will help them determine civic priorities and community decisions.

Watts said Surrey is the first municipality in North America to "undergo such a comprehensive and long-term online consultation process."

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