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Mapping Change for Sustainable Communities
The project (supported the UCL-led UrbanBuzz Programme, within which UEL is a prime partner) aims to develop an on-line interactive GIS-based map of East London and the Thames Gateway, highlighting development sites, environmental issues and projects, local issues and stakeholder groups. The map will act as a focus for communities, allowing them to engage more effectively with the process of change in their local environment. Description of Research East London and the Thames Gateway are facing huge and accelerating changes. If local people and communities are to engage effectively with the processes of change they need to know what is going on, to understand how proposed changes may affect them and to feel confident to play a positive role in those changes. Currently communities face change in their areas with limited means to assess and influence decision-making processes. Many people feel excluded and alienated from the changes that are going on, and if they do get involved they report that discussions are too technical and time-consuming. This leads to a situation where some stake-holders are missing from project discussions. The use of GIS-based systems is a logical way to tackle this issue. The MCSC project aims to develop an on-line interactive GIS-based map of East London and the Thames Gateway, highlighting development sites, environmental issues and projects, local issues and stakeholder groups. The map will act as a focus for communities, allowing them to engage more effectively with the process of change in their local environment. GIS mapping is common in academic and business communities but is still new for most communities, especially in deprived areas (which are common throughout East London). The London Green Map, on which this project is based, was the world���s first public interactive on-line green map. The MCSC map will cover: * Major new development plans, with links to the websites of the relevant local authority and developer * Planning information and a web-based resource on planning issues developed by Planning Aid for London * Local stakeholder organisations * Local environmental and social projects and most importantly, will contain information identified by its users as relevant to their needs. The MCSC project will work with four local communities to develop online local maps which are also linked to the London Green Map to reflect their issues and priorities. Local people will identify the issues and will be trained in using relevant technology and mapping skills. The project will offer them access to planning information and advice and lead to a web-based map which each group can maintain and develop. MCSC will also include innovative emotional-mapping workshops, to encourage users to explore their local environment and comment on what they see and how they feel. It will develop a system where local people can receive information about local development / environment issues via SMS messages to their mobile phones.
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