We want to explore new approaches to engaging citizens in infrastructure and built environment schemes. As a diverse partnership we are able to:
Put social value at the heart of creating better placesHelping commissioners to understand what this means in practice and involving a range of stakeholders including residents and local businesses in these discussions.
Reduce risk and uncertainty around the planning processHelping to build productive working relationships between residents, other local stakeholders and those planning new schemes – even in complex, controversial contexts where disagreement is high.
Help councils and commissioning organisations to reach deep into communitiesAnd ‘future communities’ – including seldom-heard groups, vulnerable people and those with protected characteristics.
Provide a holistic, joined-up and transparent approachTo engagement which builds credibility and legitimacy amongst all stakeholders, and which remains relevant throughout the full development timeframe from briefing and inception until several years after occupation.
Bring a range of creative engagement approaches from other sectorsIncluding more deliberative techniques that help stakeholders get beyond initial reactions and engage them more fully in thinking through the tensions and trade-offs of different local futures.
Build lasting capacity in organisations and communitiesSupporting skills-development in engagement practice and supporting citizens to participate in place-shaping in different ways – including in the long-term future of their communities.
The approach we’re proposing is flexible so that it can be adapted to different clients and different project requirements, and is also rigorous enough to satisfy the expectations of funders, planners, local authorities and commissioners. Through this approach, we aim to provoke discussion across the sector about how a different perspective on engagement can help to address the disconnect between policy and practise.