July 4, 2022

Five Questions with Hayley Johnson of the City of Revelstoke

By Evergreen

Innovation Series, Community Solutions Network

This new Innovation Series features some of the inspiring people working on smart solutions in communities across Canada

Portrait of Hayley JohnsonHayley Johnson

Title: Tech Strategy Coordinator

Municipality: City of Revelstoke

What are you working on right now? 

I’m working with the sub-committee of the Revelstoke Economic Development Commission on the Community Economic Development Dashboard pilot, an online information management tool used to track and display relevant community metrics and data points (housing, food security, transportation, tourism, development and other indicators). 

What do you like most about your work?

The interesting people I work with and the broad scope of projects I’m involved in; from running tech meetups, to the planning and delivery of a new tech strategy initiative. I like the challenge a new project brings, and the satisfaction of seeing it through to fruition.  

How do you approach solving complex problems?  

More heads are better than one when it comes to solving complex problems and a bit of lateral thinking always helps. You can often count on the problem having been experienced in other communities, so looking at case studies often helps find a solution. 

Where do you look for inspiration?  

In the process of assessing the viability of the data dashboard pilot, the team looked at open data initiatives implemented by comparable Canadian municipalities. The Squamish Open Data Catalogue stood out to us as an excellent example of what’s possible in open data and the smart cities movement. Like Squamish, Revelstoke is managing significant change, and accessing accurate data to inform decisions is an ongoing challenge for our municipal leaders, employers, community organizations, residents and prospective investors.

It’s been super helpful to learn about what other communities are doing in open data and within the smart cities context. This information will be crucial in leveraging city council support when we move to the next phase of the project.

– on the Community Solutions Portal

What excites you about how The City of Revelstoke is developing?  

Revelstoke is home to an increasingly diverse community of people from all over the world – the skiing at Revelstoke Mountain Resort has helped that! It has been really inspiring to see so many newcomers volunteering their time on the boards and committees established to help solve some of the town’s most complex problems. The data dashboard project is the result of the City and community working together to empower local organizations and businesses across sectors with access to accurate timely data, and to inform economic and social policy decisions at the municipal level.  

What challenges do you see? 

With development comes the predictable challenges of housing affordability and increased cost of living – Revelstoke is not alone on these issues. The Dashboard gives the community access to business development, transportation and tourism, population, housing and food security data metrics, putting the community’s challenges and opportunities on the table for conversations about system coordination, and cross-sector understanding and collaboration. These challenges won’t be solved unless we all work together.

What’s next for you and your project? 

The team is running an information session for the broader community this month (June 2022) to encourage discussion around the concept of open data and to collect feedback on how we can improve the dashboard for its next iteration.

Hayley Johnson and the city of Revelstoke were referred to the Community Solutions. Advisory Service (Open North) in early 2021 to get help with their project’s planning and implementation. 

We made invaluable connections and opened up to the myriad applications of open data.

- on the Community Solutions Advisory Services

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