Aecom has launched an interactive web-based tool that allows clients to engage and consult stakeholders from their computer or mobile device. By providing a more resilient approach to community engagement, the new tool will allow clients to engage with a wider audience who cannot attend in-person meetings during consultation periods.
Kevin Carlson, Aecom’s global lead for digital transformation, said: “In the face of unprecedented challenges, it was critical that we create a seamless digital environment to visualise projects, meet virtually and bring communities together in partnership with our clients around the world. Over the next few months, we will continue to focus on bringing new collaborative experiences, driven by our global expertise in digital delivery, to the marketplace.”
Through the new platform, a virtual event can be personalised to show consultation materials including virtual reality and sound demonstrations, videos, maps, plans and pop-up banners. The tool allows for instant feedback so reaction can be captured and saved for analysis and accurate reporting. There is also a chat function so on-hand experts can remotely answer questions as visitors look around the materials, similar to what would take place during an in-person event.
Andy Thomas, Aecom’s head of visualisation & VR in EMEA, said: “We already use a number of digital tools during our community engagement sessions such as visualisations, sound demonstrations and interactive apps, so it makes complete sense to bring them together on a digital platform.
“The use of digital engagement tools enables stakeholders and communities to understand proposals, allowing them to provide an informed response and participate in the consultation process. This tool will allow that process to reach a wider audience, allowing more widespread buy-in for major infrastructure projects.”
East Lothian Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Public Health England and the US Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, have signed up to use the public consultation tool.