Parks & Recreation

Community Engagement Shaping the Future of Edinburgh’s Parks and Green Spaces

September 23, 2021
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Challenge: The City of Edinburgh needs a modular, easy-to-use digital community engagement platform for collecting feedback from citizens and other stakeholders. These citizen involvement activities are a part of a urban planning project for developing Edinburgh’s parks and green spaces.

Solution: With Maptionnaire’s citizen engagement platform, Edinburgh is able to collect ideas and feedback via map-based surveys even during the Covid-19 pandemic when face-to-face events could not take place.

Looking for an Online Service for Community Engagement

The “Thriving Green Spaces (TGS)” project aims to develop a new vision for Edinburgh’s parks and green spaces. It also sets up a 30-year strategy and action plan to deliver that vision. The project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Trust Future Parks Accelerator.

Getting feedback from the community and other stakeholders is an essential part of the TGS project. The project’s co-design phase, aimed at a large audience, focused on gathering views and opinions about Edinburgh’s parks, how they are used, and ideas for further development.

To organize community engagement in a meaningful way, the City of Edinburgh needed a robust citizen engagement platform for online surveys and research. With the Covid-19 pandemic and its restrictions to consider, it was clear that face-to-face engagement and community events could not be organized. Edinburgh needed to find an online service for citizen engagement, and Maptionnaire came highly recommended for its user-friendliness and functionalities.

Maptionnaire has undoubtedly been a savior during the Covid-19 pandemic. Put simply, without Maptionnaire we would not have achieved our goals for gathering data for our project. If you need an easy-to-use and engaging survey tool, you should definitely consider Maptionnaire. It is easy to set up, and their customer support is always helpful.
City of Edinburgh

Creating An Engagement Surveys about Parks and Green Spaces with Maptionnaire Was Easy

According to the City of Edinburgh, the process of setting up Maptionnaire was simple. The surveys for the TGS project were created and managed by the University of Edinburgh, a partner in the project. Ph.D. and master students who undertook the research process found the Maptionnaire platform easy to use.

Maptionnaire has been used for a range of topics having to do with parks and green spaces in Edinburgh. The survey questions range from very simple, open-ended ones (for example, asking a question about the vision for Edinburgh’s parks and green spaces in 2050) to more complex, map-based questions related to commuting and mobility.

Lessons Learned When Creating Map-Based Questionnaires

What Edinburgh has learned is that the way engagement questions are framed directly impacts how easy or difficult it is to analyze the data.  Special attention needed to be paid to conveying to the respondents how map-based surveys work and what respondents should do.

It took Edinburgh a few iterations to get it right — good thing that Maptoinnaire has a testing function. They found out that the most important thing was to give clear instructions to the respondents and not make assumptions about how a map-based survey might be used.

Want to have a look at how digital community involvement tools work and what they can do for your city or urban planning project?

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