The City of Vaughan’s slogan is “the City above Toronto”. This phrase not only identifies the location of the town of more than 300,000 people but also what it can offer.
Vaughan, Ont. recently launched a new Web presence to enhance this offering for potential businesses and visitors and better connect with current stakeholders.
The new Web site includes rotating homepage banners, service-based tiles for navigation and a consistent layout throughout. Other features include:
Automatic email alerts; improved search functions; RSS feeds; social media links; interactive maps that highlight community centres, parks, libraries and other municipal buildings; and better accessibility through large navigation icons. You can check out the Web site at www.vaughan.ca.
The City of Vaughan worked with Toronto-based solution provider Navantis, last year’s Microsoft Solution Provider of the year. Company president Andy Papadopoulos told CDN that Vaughan.ca was a big project with many moving parts.
“The refreshed Web site reflects what Vaughan is trying to do and that is project itself as a global city, while also maintaining that local feel with constituents,” Papadopoulos said.
Navantis used Microsoft Sharepoint technology as its core platform. By using Sharepoint, Papadopoulos said it elevated the city to be more of a commercial site similar to a bank’s Web site.
According to the Mayor of Vaughan, Maurizio Bevilacqua, the city is growing and the goal is to transform into a world-class city. As an example, Mayor Bevilacqua recently struck a business accord with the City of Milan, Italy.
Bevilacqua said he is pursuing high tech or Internet businesses to take root in Vaughan.
“We want to be known as a tech savvy city. This new Web site marks a milestone moment. This Web site is a value driven initiative that speaks to the transparency of government,” Bevilacqua said.
He added that a Web site is a democratic tool to access information for people to achieve knowledge. “A Web site shapes the life of a city. It enables people to participate. Without access to information you are denying a tool for creation of education and a well versed citizenry,” he said.
For Navantis’ deal with the City of Vaughan it’s about long term relationships. The strategy is to drive value for Vaughan and by doing that Papadopoulos believes Navantis gains a long term customer. “We can be prosperous with this kind of strategy. What we have done is create more value for Vaughan and in turn this will fuel our business,” he said.