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CityView helps Canmore, Alberta make a smooth transition to advanced technology and electronic processing during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Town of Canmore, Alberta had a problem. Its planning and development department was using software that would soon become obsolete. The old system was a manual, paper-based one without automation, electronic workflows or the like. It used a client-server model, requiring a desktop application to be installed on each workstation, burdening the small IT department. Luckily, the Town was able to upgrade its technology to CityView using its modern browser-based interface, Workspace.
“The integration between the CityView modules is what really stands out to us,” Megan Dunn, the Town’s planning technician commented. “Our legacy system was part of the same suite, but we had to open up several desktop applications to do our various tasks; now, with Workspace, everything is in one place, on one screen, so there’s a lot less switching around.” This enables her department to get more done in less time.
Despite a global pandemic, all end-user training and go-live facilitation was conducted remotely, enabling the Town to maintain customer service levels and keep up with a demand for permits, inspections and plan reviews that never abated.
“It’s almost serendipitous,” said Megan. “Suddenly forced to work remotely, we had to learn very quickly how to handle things electronically. Departmental workflows changed entirely and then CityView came into place at the perfect time to help make that happen smoothly.”
It was vital to the Town to have functioning software that enabled staff to keep up with a workload that remained consistent throughout stay-at-home orders and beyond. As a municipality that provides essential services, Canmore’s planning department didn’t “let our foot off the gas,” Charlene Todd, the Town’s project manager commented. The department maintained about the same volume of business during the province’s temporary shutdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus as it did in more normal times, including permit and inspection requests for new or existing construction, renovations and providing economic resources to businesses. “Having functioning software is amazing,” said Megan.
CityView implemented a number of modules for the Town of Canmore, including CityView Property Information, Permits & Inspections, Planning, Cashiering and its distinctive Microsoft Word and Outlook Add-in tools, along with Esri’s ArcGIS integration.
The next phase of implementation for the Town will include CityView Electronic Plans Review and CityView Portal. Electronic Plans Review will complete the transition to a paper-free environment by allowing digital plan mark-ups using Bluebeam® Revu® for a faster, more consistent plan review cycle. The Portal will provide a convenient and easy way for citizens, contractors and businesses to self-serve, reducing some of the workload for staff.
“What we’re most excited about is how we’re going to use CityView to continue moving forward with newer technology,” said Charlene. “We’re thrilled to introduce the self-service interface of Portal to the public going forward. We couldn’t dream about doing so on the old system.”
The Town of Canmore is one of the fastest-growing and most desirable communities in Canada. With nearly 14,000 permanent residents, the Town is known for its prime mountain recreation. Ideally situated just an hour and a half from downtown Calgary and five minutes from Banff National Park’s east gate, Canmore offers not only a spectacular location but unequalled outdoor recreational opportunities, great food, and great shopping in the heart of some of the world's most breathtaking scenery. Canmore has a young, energetic, diverse and well-educated population that values a vigorous, outdoor adventure lifestyle that allows them to come home to comfort and amenities usually reserved for city life.