Everyone shouts the loudest
What was going on?
Leicester City Council wanted to revitalise the Stocking Farm area, but rather than impose ideas on the public, they were determined that it should be designed by the people, for the people.
They wanted a multi-stage approach that would allow continuous engagement with the local community throughout.
However, they were also aware that the area contained many seldom–heard voices that would not participate in a traditional consultation exercise.
How we helped
Obtaining buy–in and meaningful engagement from the local community was key to this exercise.
To better understand the local community’s makeup, we undertook extensive stakeholder mapping to identify the seldom-heard and create a suitable communications strategy.
Then the plan was simple, reach as many people as possible, raise awareness of the redevelopment, particularly among the seldom-heard, and gather information on the area’s current usage and ideas for its future use.
Feedback from this exercise was critical to the initial masterplanning exercise and resulted in significant assumptions being rethought and examined.
Data led design
The demographic results you obtain from a digital-led engagement can be surprising.
At Stocking Farm, the designers learnt that knowing something as simple as where the potential users would be coming from can change the whole masterplan around, literally.
Our consultation showed that most users lived to one side of the site, so rather than shift the existing access and shops to the other side of the site, the masterplan was flipped to give better access to the most users.
Seeking the views of the usual suspects will always be more straightforward than building relationships with new or smaller communities that are less accustomed to the planning and consultation process.
However, making a conscious effort to engage with the seldom-heard, e.g. the young and BAME communities, can bring considerable benefits to the end-user and design of an area.
Learn more about reaching the seldom-heard: