Using digital to improve understanding of the role and function of settlements across a Joint Local Plan area based

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Plymouth City Council, South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council came together as a Joint Local Plan (JLP) to improve their understanding of the role of settlements in the area. The three councils partnered with Commonplace and City Science to gather insights that would form a basis for future conversations about Neighbourhood and Strategic plans ahead of a review of their JLP in 2024.

To improve geographical representation and engage residents who hadn’t previously engaged in consultations in addition to their new consultation platform the pilot utilised a new map based function. This enabled residents to identify local issues and objectives across a large diverse geographical area. The digital mapping tool enabled live monitoring of participation throughout the consultation which enabled the consultation to use targeted social media campaigns to target under-represented groups. 

The interactive map in addition to short online surveys enabled the pilot team to gain a better understanding of views and conduct detailed analysis.The work included simultaneous quantitative analysis of engagement using emerging GIS tools (Cadence 360) and data available through Open Government Licences and using spatial and quantitative measures to benchmark local sentiment.

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