Challenge: Getting people's feedback on a project that affects the living environment of the residents heavily is crucial. In smaller, rural communities where distances are long, it’s important to find and offer easy ways of leaving feedback.
Solution: Residents were able to respond to Maptionnaire’s online questionnaire whenever and wherever it was convenient for them. They were able to provide GIS-located feedback and even add their own pictures to each particular map-point. This provided Energiequelle with additional data for creating simulations of the locations of wind turbines. They were also able to reach more respondents by using an online questionnaire.
Energiequelle operates in the renewable energy market in Europe. Their special focus is on wind energy. Apart from the expertise Energiequelle delivers in each project they implement, they consider the input of people in these projects as an important opportunity to improve the effectiveness of decision making. For this reason, they decided to use Maptionnaire's map-based questionnaires to hear the voices of people living in the vicinity of Liimattala, a small village roughly 60 km north of Jyväskylä, Finland, to survey the possibilities of wind power production in the area.
Residents Provide Feedback for Photo Simulations
The plan for this project was to deploy nine windmills around Liimattala, which would generate electricity for the needs of about 27,000 households annually, and save about 81,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. The participation of local residents in this survey would provide the project with constructive feedback on the plan. The main goal was, together with the stakeholders, to find out how to align the hopes for project outcome with those of the local community. To reach this, they wanted to involve as many people as possible in gathering feedback. Maptionnaire’s community engagement tool enabled Energiequelle to reach people online: answering the questionnaire was easy and the respondents could do it whenever and wherever it suited them best – also without a need to download a separate application or signing up for the service.
According to project manager Karl Schultheis, the greatest benefit of using Maptionnaire was getting input from local people in the form of proposals of locations for the photo simulation of the planned wind farm.
I would encourage companies working in the energy sector to try community engagement & Maptionnaire. It will provide valuable feedback that eases the implementation and acceptance of e.g. wind turbine projects.