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A culture of constant improvement at The City of Calgary.
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Citizens' View: The City's Online Research Panel

Citizens’ View is an online space where Calgarians can actively participate in shaping City programs and services through surveys and discussions.

The online panel complements The City’s existing suite of research and engagement tools, making information sharing more transparent, accessible and interactive for Calgarians. The panel will be a timely and cost-effective tool that makes it easier for Calgarians to share their views about life in Calgary and understand how their input is used.

Citizens’ View is an example of how The City of Calgary is transforming government by creating a more citizen-focused organization that values citizen engagement. We are building partnerships between citizens and their government to make Calgary better.  

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Geospatial Emergency Management (GEM) Project

Innovation, Citizen Orientation and Transparency are three of the Transforming Government principles highly reflected in the Geospatial Emergency Management (GEM) Project.
This award-winning project set out to find, collect and deliver critical geographic information for use by CalgaryEmergency Management Agency (CEMA) members, as well as MunicipalEmergency Management (MEP) members. Bringing integral geographic-based information from various businesses into one place – the new Common Operating Picture (COP)  - did just that.

The Innovation of this new technology enhances how we live and work in Calgary, as information from multiple different systems is shared for all those who need it – The City of Calgary decision makers, Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) and CEMA members.  To date, the project has put over 200 layers of vital geographic mapping information into the hand of these users, enabling better analysis and quicker decision making in emergency situations.

Citizen Orientation was also clearly a major driver for the GEM Project - customers and citizens need services as fast as possible in the event of an emergency. With critical geographic information at their fingertips, MEP members possess a powerful tool to ensure response is coordinated and as immediate as possible; thus improving public safety for the citizens. In addition, the COP tool improves our government’s Transparency with citizens by helping to provide a clear view of what’s going on during an emergency, using location as the key component to tie everything together.  The COP tool generates maps for both the Calgary.ca web platform, as well as for the media.

The GEM project is just another example of where The City of Calgary is leading in innovation to support the delivery of quality public service to Calgarians. It was awarded the national ESRICanada 2013 Award of Excellence for Innovations in GIS and the international 2013 URISAExemplary Systems in Government award. This project was lead by the Infrastructure& Information Services/Geospatial Business Solution group at The City of Calgary, the business area responsible for The Corporation’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and complex data analysis. This group leads the delivery of geospatial solutions, like the COP tool, to improve City businesses and ultimately enhance the citizen experience. 

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Calgary Public Library Self-service

As part of Transforming Government, the Calgary Public Library has installed automated materials check out equipment and smart return chutes. Today, customers can check out their own materials in the 10 largest library locations which allows them complete privacy and convenience. For example, at Saddletowne, CPL’s newest branch, over 95% of items are borrowed using self-service.

These innovative new returns processes are designed with the library customer at top of mind:  account information is updated in real time so there’s no chance for late fees to be applied when materials are returned on or before their due date; equipment operates 24/7, so materials are immediately ready for re-shelving or delivery to another location, significantly reducing wait times for popular materials.  Returned items, especially high-demand items, are available for re-shelving, and thus for borrowing, much more quickly.

Over the next three years, smart chutes and sorting equipment will be added to more library branches as they are refurbished, and, of course, they will be part of Calgary’s new Central Library.

Corporate Customer Service Framework

The Customer Service Framework is an important part of making The City of Calgary a more citizen-focused organization. This framework will reinforce good customer service practices and standards throughout The City. This is a key part of Transforming Government because it encourages a culture of constant improvement at The City of Calgary. Our commitment to citizens, our customers, and each other is to Listen.Respect.Act.

The following is a real-life example of how the Corporate Customer Service Framework improves the citizen experience at The City. It was a 311 call to complement City staff:

"I’m not from Calgary, but I would like to compliment many of the City staff I encountered while here. First, I phoned 311 for directions to Canyon Meadows Pool and the agent’s instructions were concise and very easy to follow. When I got to the pool, I was impressed with the staff. The woman at the front desk was very friendly and gave me great information about the pool, community and Calgary in general. Finally, I saw the Roads crews out cleaning the streets near Canyon Meadows Pool, and they were all very conscious of the traffic around them and did their work in a safe and courteous manner. I’m very happy with all the City staff I encountered today!"

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A culture of constant improvement at The City of Calgary.
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What is Transforming Government?

Government exists to serve citizens. Every day, citizens are touched by The City of Calgary and the services it offers. Transforming Government is a culture of constant improvement at The City of Calgary — improvement that makes life better for all citizens.

In 2011, Mayor Naheed Nenshi and City Council unanimously agreed to embrace and reinforce this approach to constant improvement — Transforming Government is a way to do just that. So, when you see the Transforming Government stamp on something, you know it is part of something that makes Calgary even better.

A public work, an initiative, project, program or plan marked with Transforming Government reflects one or more of the following principles:

Transparency provides a clear view of exactly what’s going on “behind the scenes”, so citizens can understand why a project or service exists.

Accountability is the clear demonstration of how and why The City has done something, and that The City and Council accept responsibility for the decision, program or plan.

Civic Engagement is a commitment to bring together citizens, organizations, and City employees in the planning and development of our great city.

Innovation describes new ideas, services, or approaches that make living and working in Calgary even better.

Citizen Orientation ensures that a program, project or service is designed with customers or citizens in mind.

Sustainability describes long-term thinking that makes for a healthy community, environment, and economy, now and in the future.

Public Spaces

Customer Service