To see what could be done to involve more citizens in the Planning process for their area, and thereby make the process more democratic. It was felt that an online system would facilitate individuals. They previously had to visit the offices in person during office hours which would not suit many people for various reasons (such as working hours, transport, mobility etc).
Following our briefing on the Valma model in the City of Tampere, we felt that a critical step in the success of their scheme was to get the support of Senior decision makers with the organisation. Therefore we approached our Director of Corporate Affairs and the Director of Planning who both agreed to support an Online Planning model and would instruct their staff to support it, which they did.
It would appear from our Pilot system that there is demand for online Plans.
There was a large number of visits to the online site. On the site we posted a youtube video we recorded to explain the process. We linked our plans to free mapping tools such as Google Maps and Street View.
Significantly the number of submissions from individuals more than doubled compared to a comparable plan that was offline only.
We then ran a short online survey using a free tool (Lime Survey). Our follow up survey with citizens confirmed they approved of the online process. They also felt that it increased their level of trust in the process. They asked that, in future, they would receive faster acknowledgement of the submission and that it would be from a named offic
Recommendation1 Get the support of top decision makers. It is a simple statement but its importance cannot be overstated.
Recommendation2 Make process and information available online, use free Social media and mapping tools.
Recommendation3 Attempt to authenticate each person making a submission, and collate all users submission responses into one post
Recommendation4 Follow up with citizens and relevant department following the process.
External source 1 http://lap.kerrycoco.ie/dingle/
External source 2 http://lap.kerrycoco.ie/limesurvey/index.php?sid=56368
External source 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=H5HBE6XmMws