Community Engagement and Technology
An article published in this month’s edition of ‘The Planner’ highlights an interesting method of community involvement used in Brisbane, Australia.
Brisbane City Council started a ‘city wide conversation’ to assist them with planning for the city’s extensive population growth, projected to increase by 1,300 people a month up to 2041. This involved the development of an online game through an app called ‘Plan your Brisbane’. The app asked the existing residents of the city central questions, such as what they like about the city, what the city needs and what should be made a priority in future planning for the area.
This method of community consultation proved very effective in gathering a wide opinion, with approximately 10% of Brisbane’s population (equivalent to one in five households) providing feedback and insight. The illustrative online game was easy to learn and play and produced instant feedback.
Some elements of engagement even asked residents to develop a scheme for 1000 houses and in doing so required them to consider a range of key aspects such as house types, green space and affordability. The residents’ engagement in such tasks allowed for the development of eight principles to future planning in the city, which included:
• Create a city of neighbourhoods
- • Protect and create green space
- • Create more to see and do
- • Protect Brisbane’s unique character
- • Ensure design complements Brisbane
- • Empower and engage residents
- • Get people home quicker and safer
- • Give people more choice when it comes to housing
This example provides evidence that technology can be used effectively as a tool for engagement with the community – basically making planning accessible through a game. It has provided a clear set of principles that reflect the genuine needs of a community and can now be used by Brisbane’s City Council as a basis for future development.
Author: Leila Cramphorn