£200,000 funding to help ‘transform planning system’ across UK

A mix of nine small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and local planning authorities from across the UK have been selected by Future Cities Catapult to receive £200,000 to transform outdated planning systems.

Using data and technology to improve cities is an area of rapid development, and is fast becoming part of modern infrastructure planning, Future Cities Catapult said. Announcement of the winners comes as the UK Government continues its industrial strategy consultation, of which innovation, improving infrastructure, and growing UK businesses are key priorities.

The award recipients will have 12 weeks to develop prototypes that will help achieve a more transparent, inclusive and certain planning system. Richard Blythe, head of policy and research at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) said ‘Big data and digital innovation present an opportunity to create a more integrated, flexible and inclusive planning system’.

The full list of winners is reported as follows:

  • HACT/OCSI is developing a neighbourhood insight web-tool aggregating government open-data and other data to neighbourhood planning boundaries.
  • PlaceChangers is making it easier for local councils to compile, update, and coordinate their local development land portfolio with other stakeholders.
  • The Behaviouralist is applying machine learning and satellite image recognition to identify opportunities for green infrastructure.
  • A London local authority is working on a mapping and analytics tool that brings together housing and social infrastructure data under one spatial platform to represent and test current and future growth scenarios.
  • Toolz is creating a custom-made 3D interface that would allow planning officers to assess development proposals within a live 3D model of the city.
  • Wikihouse + Southwark Planning Division is building an online tool to improve and automate aspects of householder planning applications.
  • Linknode is exploring the use of augmented reality to visualise unbuilt development proposals at public consultation.
  • Create Streets is working on an online tool permitting users to measure the quality of a place, and gives analysis of correlations between urban form with wellbeing, health, happiness and value.
  • ODI Leeds is working on two projects: PDFs for Planners is exploring how commonly used planning documents could update in real time from data in the cloud; and ‘A clearer plan’ is bringing together existing open data in a tool for those that want to submit a planning application or understand the local housing picture.

Read more at SmartCitiesWorld

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