Connecting Community

Connecting Community

City of Coquitlam

Touchscreen technology puts the city at your fingertips.

Project Details

The City of Coquitlam is a vibrant, fast growing community located in the heart of Metro Vancouver. Its municipal government provides residents and visitors with a full range of civic services.

We worked with stakeholders from various city departments and their lead technology partner, Aspyr, to develop the Community Connect Hub, a series of publicly accessible outdoor touchscreen kiosks which provide up-to-date, location-centric, information on city programs and cultural events, facilities, parks and trails, restaurants, and retail shops.

The Community Connect Hubs play a unique role in the city’s extensive digital ecosystem. Rather than duplicate the experience of their websites and mobile apps it was decided early in the strategy phase to focus the hubs on way-finding information and experiences relevant to the location of the user and the specific connect hub they access.

Approaching the hub users are greeted with a rotating set of images of people and places from around the city, bite-sized topical messages, current time and weather information, and a prompt to interact with the hub and explore Coquitlam. Upon touching the screen, users are presented with a map of the surrounding area dotted with clickable points and options to explore events, parks and trails, recreation and cultural centres, restaurants, and shopping. All of the information touchpoints are wheelchair and mobility vehicle accessible.

Each on-screen map available is constrained to a geography within walking distance. Selecting an entry on the map provides users with the most suitable path and walking times from the hub to the location of the entry, be that to an event happening at a park or a nearby restaurant.

The first connect hub was installed centrally, next to a busy Skytrain station. Its weather-proof housing features two massive screens which can be used independently. Below them, the housing frames two CPUs which can be controlled by administrators via VPN. The real-time data displayed comes from an array of APIs and RSS feeds updated and maintained by City staff. This was a pilot project with further installations around the city coming soon. Coming iterations will include a robust content management system giving administrators even more power and flexibility.

This project was created as part of The City of Coquitlam’s Technology Roadmap, which provides methods to identify, evaluate, prioritize and implement solutions in a rapidly-changing world of technology.

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