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About the Community Engagement module

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OpenCities Product Team

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In any city or council, it is imperative that government listens to the concerns and comments of their communities. You need to have a place where your community can stay informed and have their say about what's happening in their areas. To meet this need, we have developed the Community Engagement module. This is a premium module that can be installed on main sites, Intranets, and subsites.

See it in action: check out the community engagement module on your demo site.

There are a few different parts to this module, to help you and your community get the most out of it. The module includes:

  • Consultation pages - share a summary of initiatives, projects, or plans in the area
  • Discussion pages - open up a topic for your community to comment on
  • Blog posts - communicate your decisions, progress, and updates 
  • Timelines - add discussion pages (and additional items) to a chronological timeline to offer a high-level view of everything that's happened, plus what's coming up
  • Page Comments widget - add to your consultation pages to allow your community to add or respond to comments

An example of the community engagement module on the demo site

How it works

We will install the Community Engagement module for you, and when we do so we will set up a listing page for you titled 'Have Your Say'. This will be the listing page for your current consultations and will include a content list to pull all your OC Consultation pages into a listing. We will also install a page for past consultations, which will be linked out from the 'Have Your Say' page.

The content list will be embedded into the WYSIWYG Editor of both the current and past consultation listing pages, and should not be removed. However, you can still edit the pages to add any introductory content, a page image, a summary, and any supporting information.

The main pages for this module are the listing pages and OC Consultation pages. For each consultation page that is created, there will automatically be three folders created as child pages of that consultation page: 'Discussions', 'Latest Updates', and 'Timelines'. Any pages you create in these folders will be displayed and linked to from your consultation page, in either accordions or side panels.

The community engagement module in the site tree, with a consultation page and discussions, timeline and updates folders

Consultation homepage listing

For consultation pages, there is also the possibility of having a homepage listing. You can set it up in either tabs or a featured content row, and it will display the three most recent consultation items. For each item, the title, summary, closing date, and image will appear. There will also be a link to take visitors to the main consultation listing page. 

If you'd like to make a particular consultation stay on the homepage listing regardless of how many are published, you can pin it to the homepage listing. This is particularly helpful for ongoing consultations or for consultations you want to highlight. Past consultations will be removed from the homepage listing and current consultation listing.

We recommend displaying 3 consultations at a time in the homepage listing for a better viewing experience on tablet and mobile devices. More than 3 items will create too long of a scroll for users with smaller devices and excessive content for screen readers.

Where should I start?

  1. Create an OC Consultation page
  2. Manage the Community Engagement module settings
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