During the COVID-19 crisis, councils have faced new challenges around engaging residents and communities in decisions that affect their communities, shifting to digital methods that are more accessible during the lockdown, such as online committees. Some aspects of planning have been more difficult to shift online, notably the ubiquitous ‘planning notice’ that you’ll see attached to lampposts.
Camden Council was awarded funding to design and test a new digital version of the planning notice. We’ve been supporting them to design a site notice that encourages residents who don't often get involved with local planning developments to participate and have their say on shaping the future of their place.
The planning system is difficult to navigate, only people with the time, skills and knowledge required to engage in decisions tend to participate. Working alongside planners in Camden, we wanted to digitise planning notices in a way that‘s visually appealing, easy to understand and encourages those who don’t usually get involved in planning to engage.
Building on insights and learning from previous planning projects we reviewed existing research on attitudes and interests in place-based engagement, and our previous work with Camden on social value in planning.