Planning For Real

Planning For Real
Planning for Real has been around since the late 1970’s and is a community-led planning process which lets local residents be at the forefront of planning for, and within, their own communities.

It is an eye-catching, ‘hands on’ process that uses a table-top model of the local area to allow residents to show how their neighbourhood can be improved, or to highlight specific problems. The 3D model is usually made by local residents, often children, on a scale of about 1:500, which means that individual front doors are recognisable and familiar landmarks can be easily located.

The model is made up of of polystyrene board which means that it is lightweight and portable. So rather than being static, with the residents expected to come to it, the model can be easily taken to where people naturally meet and gather.

At consultation events the model is surrounded by sets of ‘suggestion’ cards or flags, which have pictures on as well as words. These are complemented by a good supply of blank cards for resident’s own ideas, as there are always plenty of issues in an area, which cannot be known in advance.

Residents select colour-coded cards, or write their own, and place these on the model to show what their needs, concerns, and hopes are - red for traffic, yellow for housing, green for environment and so on. This enables all those taking part to see at a glance issues of concern by the dominance of a colour or colours on the model.

Follow up workshops are held where residents, working in small groups supported by experts, then look at the suggestions and prioritise them so that a clear picture of what needs to be done and what is achievable emerges.

For more information, visit the Planning For Real website or email Margaret.

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