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QR Codes On Iowa City’s Agenda


Everyone knows about and should do something about improving the planet’s health. If you are not already on the GREEN game, now is perhaps the time to take a cue from the Iowa city council. The council is going tech to not only make their meetings more effective and members more informed but also goes one step ahead to go paperless.

If you have been to a formal and lengthy meeting, you would know sheer number of papers that needs to be printed beforehand. Sure, emails would be useful too but given the number of people who would actually make an effort to download a simple Word document and print the agenda out is too few and far in between.

Therefore, they have decided to use technology to achieve better performance and information segregation amongst the attendees and members of the council. A QR Code will be printed out before the meeting and then attached to the door of the meeting room. So, members who are attending the meeting can then pull out their smartphones and scan the QR Code and the agenda for the day would automatically be in their hands…and they are ready for the meeting.

Considering the fact that creating a QR Code is completely free of charge, I would have to contend that the council made the right move in the right direction in their attempt to becoming more transparent. Assistant City Manager of Iowa City said that it is an effort to make sure the attendees of the meeting have instant access to all the materials related to the meeting before the meeting commences.

As mentioned, creating a QR Code is completely free of charge but you will need a smartphone and a simple app called a QR Code reader in order to decode the barcode. It was also reported that this is not the only thing that the council has done to go paperless and this move was merely reflective of the council’s stand about doing their bit for the environment.

Before this, the City council began using iPads so that they wouldn’t have to waste paper printing things out and finding space to store them. The service of loading meeting agendas on iPad also free to use for the city council staff members.

Other city councils are also taking a cue from the Iowa City because spokesperson for Cedar Rapids was saying that they have not looked into the possibility of using QR Codes to go paperless but the idea was endearing.

Obviously, there were skeptical concern over how it would all pan out since not everyone has a smartphone but I think it is only a matter of time, anyway. It is good for the image of the city council to be the first few to leap ahead of their time.

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