Mapping for Change


Evaluating People Zones Leicestershire

Our Role


In 2022, Mapping for Change undertook research, using an Asset-Based Community Development Approach, to support the establishment of three People Zones in Leicestershire – an initiative developed to reducing crime and anti-social behaviour and promote community building.  MfC engaged with local residents to identify community assets, and discover the ideas, ambitions and concerns of local residents. For each People Zone, a community map was created as a lasting resource to connect residents with available resources. The research culminated in reports for each of the People Zones which highlighted the key themes and identified gaps in community provisions that required attention. Building upon this foundation, numerous opportunities were identified to implement hyper-localised community initiatives.

Now, Mapping for Change has been invited back to evaluate the impact of People Zones programme over the past 18 months. Through collaborative efforts with residents, our evaluation will delve into both the short and medium-term effects of the project on the community. We aim to establish clear metrics for success, pinpoint areas for improvement, and provide concrete evidence of the project’s effectiveness in addressing crime and antisocial behaviour. This evaluation process will not only inform future funding structures but also ensure that People Zones continue to tangibly impact the resident communities.


Case Study: Bell Foundry People Zone:


Following initial consultations with MfC, residents of Bell Foundry People Zone participated in a Light Audit aimed at identifying issues with street lighting and other safety concerns. Utilising the Sapelli app and Community Maps provided by MfC, residents documented these issues, which were then validated and escalated for action, resulting in improvements to street safety. The Marios Tinenti Centre, a local community hub, also regularly hosts litter picks to support the area’s Pride of Place, as emphasised in Bell Foundry’s report.

Another positive outcome of MfC’s initial consultation was the launch of a Mental Health Friendly Faces pilot program within Bell Foundry People Zone. Leveraging the community map, local businesses such as beauty salons and tattoo parlours were identified and targeted for training, enabling staff to provide informal mental health support to clients. The pilot proved successful, generating interest in expanding the program to other areas and organisations as a valuable signposting tool.


These examples illustrate some of the immediate impacts of People Zones Leicestershire. Through ongoing evaluation, we aim to identify and amplify these positive results, fostering further community development.

Related Projects


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 a single community engagement platform, where citizens can interact with their governments and participate in local decision-making.


InSPIRES is a EU-funded project which aims to address the information gap that vulnerable demographics can hold about the impact that air pollution has on their health. Mapping for Change works with a school in London, whereby parents and pupils will have the opportunity to monitor particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide pollution levels in and around their homes.

Planting Healthy Air in Schools

Mapping for Change is working with pupils and teachers to monitor nitrogen dioxide levels around each school using citizen science. Together, we have installed diffusion tubes at 10 locations around the school which will be changed over by the EcoClub every month for 12 months.