The Feria Urbanism team loves helping communities to write their neighbourhood plans. We firmly believe that this process is enabling. The neighbourhood plan gives communities a say in the future of their city, town or village, including where new development will and will not happen. They also allow the creation of localised design codes and can identify areas for improvement or preservation. We also observe that the process of writing the plan is extremely positive for people. It brings communities together, gets people talking about the issues they see as important and, if done well, creates new networks and new connections.
Over several years, we have refined what we call a PLACE assessment. This is a community mapping workshop we have developed to help people understand and evaluate what is happening on the ground. It allows them to see how different elements of the built environment fit together. These events are open to everyone to join and they are most effective when they cover as much ground as possible. We use these PLACE events at the outset of a project as a way for local groups to create a baseline data map of the plan area and engage a wider group of volunteers. The structure of the PLACE assessment enables people to feel they have a voice in the process, recording multiple perspectives and points of view onto a collective map. While PLACE assessments are best undertaken in the real world, we are now able to help you deliver much of the process online.
We are currently running PLACE assessments in both Abingdon and Chichester as part of our neighbourhood plan support service. If you are thinking of writing a neighbourhood plan, and think a PLACE assessment could help you, do please get in touch.