COLORADO SPRINGS — A new on-line public engagement tool for the City of Colorado Springs quickly gained added purpose when the normal for 2020 became social distancing. EngageCOS started as an on-line option for input on major City of Colorado Springs projects. Because of the pandemic it has become an essential resource. "Especially with COVID 19 we've needed to find ways to facilitate public meetings in a digital space,” said Colorado Springs Community Engagement Specialist, Jacob Anderson.
The goal of EngageCOS remains the same. Get more people involved, start to finish, in city projects effecting their lives. "We're never happy enough with the level of public participation we get. We always want more,” said Anderson, “Because involving the public in decision making makes for more sustainable decisions.”
EngageCOS is a link on the City of Colorado Springs website. It currently shows 70 priority projects and initiatives. The resource uses colored tags to show a project status. "That says this project is in design, this project is receiving public input, this is in a construction phase," Anderson said. You can browse all or use the filter function to narrow topics. You can sort by areas of the city or by topics like “parks” or “transportation”.
"What we're trying to do is give citizens a way to be aware of what's going on the city and find ways when we're looking for their voice, for citizens to easily make their voice heard,” said Anderson. The input happens when a project is in development. After the window for public comment closes, project information remains on-line with updates and time-line status.