During Hurricane Sandy, I spent hours on Wikipedia reading about New York City’s power grid, water supply, and even how their police department is organized. There are hundreds of pages about how the city works from multiple levels. I even found out that there are row houses that are actually escape tunnels for the subway. If you want to know how any major city works, Wikipedia is an indispensable tool to share that knowledge.
Saskatoon isn’t New York City but has some cool things happening from our new water pump house, our award winning super pipes, tunnels under 20th Street and exciting projects at the landfill. Why not talk more about these things and share that knowledge about the city?
Wikipedia is largely volunteer driven but organization have spent a lot of time putting up quality information to help with the efforts. The city could do the same.
Get a couple of students, hire them as summer interns, give them digital cameras, and have them research, visit, and document how our city works. Start at City Council, drill down through city admin and post everything that they find interesting with Wikipedia.
Head down to the archives and digitize photos, maps, and information and while you are at it, post a biography on Wikipedia worthy of Cliff Wright‘s legacy. Write about Meewasin Valley, SREDA, the Farmer’s Market, and the flow of water in the river. Whatever they find interesting, let’s find out more information and share it.
Having researched and posted to Wikipedia in the past, within days people will start filling in the blanks and the end result will be a much more comprehensive look and understanding of how the City of Saskatoon works. This is an investment that will pay off with a better educated and engaged citizenship who really do understand the complexity of what it makes to build a great city.