North Vancouver City council pledges $5K for Metro survey

MIKE Harcourt, former mayor of Vancouver and former B.C. premier, came to City of North Vancouver council Nov. 14 to ask for support for a new survey of Metro Vancouver residents.

The Urban Futures project conducted its first survey in 1973, and again in 1990, said Harcourt, joined by CEO Colleen Hardwick and former GVRD planning manager Ken Cameron.

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"I'm here to talk about a snapshot of the region," Harcourt said. "The first Urban Futures project provided us with the information we needed to put in place the first de facto liveable region strategy."

The information gathered is the opinions of residents about what changes or directions they would like to see in the area over the coming two decades.

"The technology and techniques were pretty straightforward - you talk to people, which you did in those days. They answer their door and they actually talked with you. It's time to update with the third 20-year look with modern technology," he said.

Hardwick demonstrated the new online version, called PlaceSpeak. Participants can sign up through the Internet and social media. After their location is verified, they answer surveys, polls, and can use discussion forums. The questionnaires take about 22 minutes to complete. Although the self-selection is something of a concern for statisticians, Hardwick said she believes a far bigger sample size than previous editions will overcome that.

Council unanimously approved a $5,000 contribution and urged other North Shore municipalities to follow suit.

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