2017 has been rewarding in many respects. Time to consider the aspirations for 2018.
At PlaceChangers, I worked on a product titled OurLand, funded by the Future Cities Catapult. We completed an intensive research and design phase. This resulted in an application prototype that would speed the production of housing land supply data in local authorities. The project touched on the role of civic data standards and occurred at a time of debate about how local authorities can become fit for the future. Visits to five local authorities and a house builder made the project hugely rewarding. I travelled to Manchester for a design workshop and pitched at the Future Cities Catapult in London.
Thus far, the OurLand project remains in development. Arranging pilots with local authorities has proven harder to organise than expected, but I have high hopes for 2018.
At the University, I continued to deliver digital civics, a module teaching the basics of application design for urban planning. The second iteration of this module resulted in several strong pitches to project partners. This year, students worked with Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council, and several resident associations. Students seemed confident to take in insights on where they could to conceptualise and design well-working interactive application prototypes. I believe this module validates the value of practice-related learning in higher education.
In terms of my aspirations for 2018, plans are in store for more projects with interesting project partners from local authorities and house builders. I aim to continue to explore innovative approaches to engaging in planning.
Good luck with your plans for 2018, the big and small! Let’s make it happen.