Jan 08 2009

Workhorse Wikis

Cities and counties are collaborating with wikis to further their green initiatives.

In North Carolina, the city of Raleigh, Wake County and the Wake County Public School System are driving the Randleigh Farm sustainable development project encompassing residential and retail sections, parks, schools and an environmental education center. Team members tap a wiki to communicate across organizations and locations. Sharon Heaton, Raleigh’s assistant IT director for strategy and planning, says IT used open-source software to get the wiki up quickly and cheaply.

Three years ago, Montgomery County, Pa., rolled out a wiki to collaborate on IT projects. CIO Jack Pond wrote extensions to the MediaWiki collaboration program and Bugzilla issues-tracking software to meet the IT department’s needs. “It gets used every day for pretty much every single project,” he says. For example, his IT group relies on the wiki for bug tracking and for managing vendors.

Now, Montgomery County taps a wiki to support its greenhouse gas reduction plan and has published Greenprint for Montgomery County: Climate Change Action Plan. [CX] A wiki located at http://wiki.montcopa.org/GreenPrint/index.php?title=Main_Page serves as an online community to support that plan. There, citizens can exchange ideas and share information about energy conservation, green building, renewable energy, alternative-fuel vehicles, alternative ways to commute, sustainable design, recycling and increasing tree canopy, among other topics.