Digital tools from engineering and design firm Stantec for planning and community engagement are being made available on the Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) G-Cloud tool.
The CCS framework helps UK public sector organisations procure services, and benefit from collective purchasing power, and its G-Cloud assists with securing cloud software and support services.
The Stantec digital tools Community Engage and Community HQ will go live on the CCS platform when the latest iteration, G-Cloud 13, launches on 9 November.
The move follows publication of a Stantec and Reading University report, Better Places. This calls for greater use of digital data to support the inclusion of social value in strategic decisions around land.
Number of barriers
Stantec head of innovation and technical services, Andy Porter, said: “Successful community engagement through planning is held back by a number of challenges. Barriers include a lack of awareness of planning processes, as well as low engagement from communities with the planning system itself.
“Forward-thinking digital tools can help break these barriers down, offering simple-to-use, secure systems which go hand-in-hand with in-person engagement to create longer-term connection with those who live and work in the areas affected.
“The fact that our community engagement tools will be going live on the new marketplace demonstrates their credibility and value for users in line with the expectations set by the CCS.”
Online community consultations
Stantec launched Community Engage in response to the covid restrictions on public gatherings and helps deliver community consultations online. It replicates the consultation experience with project display boards, live chat, video clips and orthographic 3D models. Using 360-degree photography it can recreate real-life and custom venues.
Stantec says the tool ensures GDPR compliance and can help reach a broader audience, and also target specific demographics or community groups.
Stantec.io Community HQ is a digital toolkit to help clients engage with, and gather social feedback from, communities across multiple digital platforms and potentially identify hidden issues. Using analytics and AI, it can help gauge sentiment about a project or service and spot when opinions are changing.
The Stantec.io division combines emerging tech and digital services within the company and includes cloud computing, machine learning, AR/VR, computational and parametric design, blockchain, digital twins, IoT, edge computing, and more.
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