WeGovNow is a three year research and innovation project focusing on civic participation in local government. It aims to change the relationship between citizens and local governments, transforming the citizen’s role from customer into partner. This is to be achieved with the development of an integrated community engagement platform, where citizens can interact with their governments and participate in local decision-making.
The platform will allow people to report local community problems and explore ways of solving them through collective action. It addresses the current limitations of e-participation by encouraging citizens to debate, develop and vote on concrete policy suggestions.
With our expertise in participatory mapping and community engagement, Mapping for Change are involved in developing the interactive map component of the WeGovNow platform through a user centred design approach.
The project is funded by Horizon 2020, the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and it will include case studies in the London Borough of Southwark, City of Turin, and San Dona di Piave, Italy. In developing the platform, partners are collaborating with multiple stakeholders such as representatives from local authorities, public service providers, citizens and action groups as well as local enterprises.
Design for Wellbeing is a multidisciplinary research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The project aims to investigate ‘community severance’; the concept that major transport infrastructure, such as busy roads, can negatively influence elderly people’s physical and psychological wellbeing, by segregating their community and restricting their mobility.
Mapping for Change in collaboration with the Humanities Education Centre (HEC) and local specialist on learning and ‘place’ Maggie Hewitt, worked with three schools in Tower Hamlets (Columbia School Community Map, Arnhem Wharf School Community Map and John Scurr School Community Map) to pilot a brand new process in which Year 4 pupils develop personalised maps of their local area with their own likes, memories and views on change.
In 2012, the Big Lottery Fund in England invested £1 million in 150 neighbourhoods for its Big Local initiative. Northfleet, Kent, was one of the first 50 to be selected. The grant aimed to equip local communities with skills and tools to identify key areas and issues where action was reqiored in their area.