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6 steps to help drive engagement in new communities


May 2022

Set up your development plan for success with these tips to help gain support from the community with high-resolution aerial maps and data.

May 2022

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When launching new community developments, one of the key responsibilities of a city planner is engaging the local community.
Aerial imagery and geospatial content give you the tools you need to provide communities with reliable, accurate insights into the impact and scope of planned developments. The level of transparency and accuracy this content delivers in community engagement can be the difference between success and failure. From detailed plans derived using location intelligence to town hall meetings where this information is communicated, there are several key tools accessible through Nearmap that you can use to garner community approval for your development application. This post looks at how these tools can make a difference to the outcome of your project.
Map specific plans for community engagement with powerful annotation tools within MapBrowser

1. Use geospatial data to help garner community approval

The dual fear of change and the unknown can be a serious factor that makes people wary of supporting a new development. By explaining your site plan, addressing concerns and keeping the public informed with accurate data and high-resolution imagery, you will likely meet less resistance at crucial points in your project.
It can be hard for members of the community to grasp the scale of a project through site plans, renders and drawings alone. Providing high-resolution images helps people easily understand how they may be affected by a development.
Showing different radiuses and perspectives, like vertical and oblique aerial imagery, is a fast and effective way to communicate your plans. Presenting realistic aerial maps marked up with annotations like roadworks, projected new buildings, and property boundaries can bring your development plan to life.

2. Communicate benefits to the community

Start off on the right foot by thoroughly researching the community in the area you will be developing. Understanding points of contention from past developments can help you focus on areas of greatest significance. For example, if the community in the development area is concerned about environmental impact, you can make a point to showcase how you will protect green spaces.
Provide residents with an accessible, easily understandable platform to learn more about these benefits. Communicate clear information digitally to get real-life eyeballs on your site plan and show the positive outcomes that your development will bring.

3. Allow voices to be heard

Using state-of-the-art technology, such as high-resolution aerial imagery and 3D models, you can showcase the most realistic outcomes for your project. Frequently updated aerial imagery gives you a near real-time view of change over time, communicating more detail than a flat map image — including how surrounding areas and environments will come into play. Using annotation tools, you can markup plans to include alternate routes, construction equipment locations, new structures, and other factors that residents will want to know.

4. Ask for feedback

Invite open and honest feedback on your development application, and provide the public with easy channels of communication. Things like a dedicated email address, somewhere to mail physical letters, and the opportunity to visit in person will make the community feel involved.
While some feedback will inevitably be negative, resist the temptation to ignore or reject it. Respond with respectful, data-backed messages and imagery that reiterates the value of the development.

5. Be transparent

Being honest with the public about your intended development application through plans that are realistic and easily digestible helps to build trust from the earliest stages, which is crucial for retaining community support.
Nearmap Oblique imagery showing markers and measurements
Presenting clear development goals and expectations inspires community confidence and builds trust. Using visual aids with layered annotations derived from powerful, city-scale 3D models makes your proposal truly immersive. These visuals provide a realistic, at-a-glance insight into how the development will look at different stages, which can help members of the community to better understand what is going to happen to the area around them.

6. Manage expectations

While positivity is important, it’s also vital that you provide the public with a realistic timeline for your project. Offer a clear plan with easy-to-understand steps, outlining milestones and expected stages, plus the benefits or disadvantages at each step. This helps keep the community informed, allowing them to prepare for any inconveniences, such as temporary access limitations.

Trust the experts to support your plans

To enhance your site plan with the most up-to-date, clear, and reliable geospatial data, empower your decision-making with Nearmap. Unparalleled high-resolution imagery and geospatial content will help you bring life, color, and a realistic edge to your development plans.
To see how you can harness the power of aerial imagery and location intelligence to build community support on your next project, visit Nearmap for Government
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