A common problem for people who want to get involved in local planning is that the system is simply too complex. Today, to respond to a consultation, you need a solid understanding of local planning issues and complex jargon, and you need to have quite a bit of time on your hands. This stops people from all backgrounds and interests from getting involved, resulting in plans that are not necessarily representative of the needs of the community. What’s more, even when people do get involved they rarely feel that their voice was heard, generating distrust and even apathy.
We at The Future Fox believe that everyone should be included in the planning process. With a more inclusive participatory process, places can reflect the community’s diverse needs, attitudes and imaginations, present and future.
Our innovative digital engagement platform PlaceBuilder makes it easy for anyone to engage on planning issues. It’s an intuitive and accessible digital tool; complex plans, options and proposed policies can now become quick and easy to understand and give feedback on.
With PlaceBuilder, project leaders responsible for engaging the community can quickly understand and utilise consultation data and insight. The platform’s innovative and advanced spatial analytics help project leaders instantly understand the important or nuanced themes cropping up in the community feedback. They are able to spot where consensus or opposition to different options are within their area, meaning they can reflect the needs and aspirations of the community in their plans and close the feedback loop. The resulting spatial datasets and analyses can also be integrated with other plans on local and wider levels allowing greater potential for smarter places
What’s more, projects using PlaceBuilder benefit from a significantly larger volume of people engaging with their consultations with 8 times the number of respondents than online surveys. This saves planners valuable time, money, and even taps into the wide range of demographics that represent the whole community.
To support communities to produce their own Local Place Plans, we’re delighted to be working with the Scottish Government to offer 32 Community Bodies a fully funded 12-month subscription to PlaceBuilder. We are pleased that the Scottish Government will explore the data to look at trends across the country and communities. We hope to see that this valuable information will inform national planning policy, creating the foundations for a positive and sustainable future.
We have eight subscriptions available in this calendar year, with 12 available in both 2022 and 2023. Importantly, for the eight subscriptions available in 2021, activation is necessary before 31 December for use throughout 2022.
For more information and to request an application form, please contact: Digitalplanning@gov.scot