Tracking plan implementation using elected officials’ social media communications and votes

Plans can only impact practice when elected officials adopt, enact, and approve funding for specific strategies. The authors explore ways to track implementation from the planning documents to elected officials’ priorities and to their voting patterns to identify the consistencies and gaps that may limit the impact of plans. The authors use Twitter data mining, text content analysis, and voting records from the digitized council minutes in Calgary, Alberta, between the 2017 municipal election and the last quarter of 2020. The authors connect the expressed preferences to votes for each councilor over the study period. On the two most salient topics—transit and affordable housing—those who expressed support on Twitter also supported investments. With one exception of an anti-tax councilor, over time, the rest of the councilors reached agreements on public investments (supra-local funding lightened the financial burdens for the city facilitating “yes” votes). Planners can derive meaningful information from the elected officials’ social media communication, such as concerns and support for specific planning initiatives, to promote successful plan implementation. This information can also enhance voters’ awareness of local officials’ views and actions on planning initiatives.


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  • Accession Number: 01875862
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 20 2023 9:36AM