Using technology to help communities shout louder

Jones, Phil; Speed, Chris and Lorne, Colin (2015). Using technology to help communities shout louder. In: Richardson, Liz and Durose, Catherine eds. Designing Public Policy for Co-production: Theory, Practice and Change. Bristol: Policy Press.



This contribution from an inter-disciplinary team of academics offers an attempt to support communities in ‘shouting a little louder’ within policy-making. It models its own aspiration in reflecting the importance of bringing together different forms of expertise: in planning, interface design, engaging communities. The contribution focuses on the development of an app, MapLocal, which aims to draw in the local knowledge of people who may not usually get involved in neighbourhood planning. The app provides a tool for mapping community assets and contributing to planning by tapping into the fine-grained understanding of a place, which comes from living there, but also providing a way of generating and harnessing community creativity and imagination. MapLocal is an example of the potential of such spatial and visualisation tools to shift the parameters, power and potentialities of policy by enhancing the engagement and interaction of communities for local problem-solving.

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