New digital tool to co-ordinate community action


The RE:generate Trust has developed the Digital mapping for community animation system as part of its Root Solution – Listening Matters (RSLM) initiative to consult residents on what they need and what they are prepared to help with.

The tool has been shortlisted in the open data category for the 2013 Next Generation Digital Challenge Awards. The tool enables users to collect, collate, map and analyse community consultations and link ideas and activities across whole cities.

RSLM has already been implemented across Bath and North East Somerset councils and Swindon borough council. Nick Gardham, UK projects director at the association of RSLM practitioners, said: “We meet people one to one and engage them in a conversation about what they care about, what their aspirations are, what they are prepared to do in their locality to make a difference,” Gardham said. In Bath and North East Somerset, we listened to more than 400 people – their ideas, aspirations and what they were prepared to do. We sought to map it, share that information, build deficit maps and map aspirations rather than relying on broad brush assumptions. The result of the project was a significant drop in crime including burglary and flytipping.”

Gardham also claimed that the system can help inform how public services are delivered. He said: “This is where the public servants got really interested. It can help to reallocate expenditure – overspend on one element can be reduced if the community says we can do a job for less, like run community centres, and do it very well – then we will work with you to use that expenditure elsewhere where we can’t do the work, like resurfacing the roads.”

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