The Works

  • Social Media Campaigns

    How to leverage free resources for your agency's online public outreach efforts.

  • Hosting online surveys and polls

    By leveraging online survey tools, public works departments can quickly and efficiently collect feedback from both citizens and employees.

  • Protecting your domain

    No agency wants citizens to visit their project website and find objectionable content. It's even worse if the agency is forced to allow it to remain. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to prevent this from happening.

  • Visualizing your design

    Just as public outreach becomes even more important and necessary in public works, we are fortunately seeing the launch of new tools to help us become more successful in our efforts. Social media has improved communication by allowing us to deliver our messages quicker and more efficiently with...

  • Instagram and Snapshot

    Instagram and Snapchat are gaining enough in popularity and users that public agencies are considering getting accounts. Let’s explore each of these tools to help you decide if their use would be relevant for your agency.

  • Mobile Apps (& iPads)

    Over the summer, Jim McLaughlin, operations manager for the City of Eugene (Ore.) Public Works Department, showed me several mobile applications he has integrated into his operations to assist with inspections and management of assets. All of their applications have been developed in-house by an IT...

  • Leveraging the Cloud; Online Storage Services

    One huge benefit of Web-based tools is the ability to better communicate and share information with colleagues

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    Is there a chemist in the house?

    When you visit a water plant, what image are you left with? Depending on your experience, you may envision a building pulsating with the noise of pumps and motors; a vast array of tanks filled with water; or a large room of pipes and computer screens with red, green, or yellow lights. When I enter...

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    A lucky, albeit leaky, find

    In the 1870s, city engineer Major Charles Davis was called to investigate a typical public works complaint—the dreaded “basement backup problem.” We can all imagine what Davis faced when he showed up to investigate—a group of homeowners upset with water flooding into their basements, absolutely...

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    Do you have a Cindy?

    At the city where I used to work, there is a woman named Cindy who handles all the calls for the public works department, providing a front-line response to all requests and complaints. With her knowledge of city regulations and procedures, she is quickly able to determine the proper reaction to...

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    Designing the school zone

    School may be out for the summer, but I can't stop thinking about picking up my child, who attends the local public school.


Blog Archive

Blog Archive

For more blogs written by Stephanie, Pam, and Michele click here.


The Works

A former senior editor of PUBLIC WORKS, Pam Broviak publishes the Public Works Group Blog.