Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been giving you more information on the ideas that are going forward to the ‘How can we transform neighbourhoods in Britain together?’ GeoVation Showcase. On Monday we told you about Community Animation Mapping Strengths and Assets and Community Payback Visibility. Today, you can find out more about The Place Station and Residents’ Green Space Mapper.
If you’d like to see the ideas pitch for a share of £115,000 in funding at Ordnance Survey on 20 June- sign up for your free ticket.
The Place Station
Do you really care about any of the land or buildings within your community? Do any of them play a vital role or provide an integral public service in the heart of your community? Do you know of a building on your street that has the potential to deliver social well-being within the area?
Community assets, in the broadest sense, are buildings and pieces of land that are an essential part of the social fabric of the area. Where they are in existing use, they are assets that if lost to community use, would significantly affect that community’s well-being. Where a building or piece of land has already fallen into disuse, bringing them back into community use could fulfil a real need in that community.
Local communities usually have strong views about which buildings and services they care about, and the mapping of community assets will interest a wide range of local people and groups. The Place Station is a web platform that both maps those assets and introduces public and private sector owners of land and buildings across the UK to social and community entrepreneurs with ideas for transforming their local area. The Place station provides a space where people can:
- Search for land and buildings
- Add a Place they’d like to see owned and managed by the community
- Add an Idea for transforming local services
- Propose new uses for available land and buildings
- Establish community support to aid the prioritisation of assets of community value on formal lists held by local authorities
- Comment on and offer to support an Idea or Proposal for a Place
- Find pro-bono supporters where they live to put their Ideas and Proposals into practice
The Place Station is more than just an idea. A ‘beta-version’ has been trialled and tested. The developer, Locality, is one of the UK’s leading community sector networks and the acknowledged national expert on community asset development and community asset transfer. The Place Station builds on our knowledge and experience and will play a key role in helping communities take advantage of the new Community Rights introduced by the recent Localism Act.
Resident’s Green Space Mapper
Where people play an active role in shaping their local area, these spaces then contribute to a sense of community.
Creatively used and well managed open spaces on people’s doorsteps provide a place for people to get to know their neighbours, contribute to healthier lifestyles and provide places for children to play outside.
People living in areas of disadvantage have 5 times less access to green space. In many areas, residents want to improve the land on their estates but don’t have a clear means to articulate their aspirations to the housing provider.
Social landlords operate in these areas and have received large areas of land through stock transfer (owning more green space than the local authority in some urban areas).
Historically, they have concentrated on improvements to their housing stock through schemes such as the ‘Decent Homes standard’. There is a growing interest in proactively managing their land, but while many have boundary outlines, often very little information is available with which to create a prioritised plan of action for improvement
We will prototype and test a tool for use by local residents to survey their local area in collaboration with their Housing Association. We will create a framework around this tool to support the Housing Association in the wider process.
Many of the components to deliver the idea are in place:
- The link to Housing Associations has been made through Neighbourhoods Green
- We have been using electronic questionnaires on tablets for home energy audits by our Green Drs
- We have been developing user friendly interactive web maps that are powered by GIS server software
GeoVation funding will allow us to draw these different strands together. This is not a stand alone venture but is a missing element of a wider package of services offered by Groundwork.