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Future of Planning funding winners announced

The Future of Planning of project aims to update how the planning system in the UK works. To that end, Future Cities Catapult created a funding open call to drive innovation in this sector. After an overwhelming number of submissions, we have selected nine Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Local Planning Authorities to receive a share of £200,000.

The funding pot was created to support the development of new tools and innovations to transform the planning system. UK businesses, individuals, entrepreneurs and planning authorities were invited to develop ideas to create a more data-driven and digitally enabled system.

We were overwhelmed by the response, with nearly 90 entries received, demonstrating the clear need desire for innovation in the planning sector. Proposals submitted included:

· using data to identify land for housing developments

· managing the impact of new developments on school and GP capacity

· augmented reality to allow citizens to see future developments by holding up their phone or tablet.

Using data and technology to improve cities is an area of rapid development, and is fast becoming part of modern infrastructure planning. This announcement of the winners comes as the UK Government continues its Industrial Strategy consultation, of which innovation, improving infrastructure, and growing UK businesses are key priorities.

Over the coming 12 weeks, the winners will develop prototypes that point the way towards a more transparent, inclusive and certain planning system.

The call for funding followed our recent report identifying key challenges facing planning authorities around the UK.

Euan Mills, Planning and Urban Design Lead at Future Cities Catapult, said:

“For years we’ve heard how the planning system is broken, and how it hasn’t delivered the number of homes we need or the types of places we want to live in.

“Our Future of Planning programme focuses primarily on how we plan, rather than what we plan for, and creates critical space to experiment; allowing those involved in the planning system to think how it could be done differently.

“We’re excited to work with the winners of our Open Call as they develop and test prototypes to build a faster, more transparent and equitable planning system.”

The full list of winners are as follows:

HACT/OCSI are developing a neighbourhood insight web-tool aggregating government open-data and other data to neighbourhood planning boundaries.

PlaceChangers are making it easier for local councils to compile, update, and coordinate their local development land portfolio with other stakeholders.

The Behaviouralist are applying machine learning and satellite image recognition to identify opportunities for green infrastructure.

A London local authority is working on a mapping and analytics tool that brings together housing and social infrastructure data under one spatial platform to represent and test current and future growth scenarios.

Toolz are creating a custom-made 3D interface that would allow planning officers to assess development proposals within a live 3D model of the city.

Wikihouse + Southwark Planning Division are building an online tool to improve and automate aspects of householder planning applications.

Linknode Ltd is exploring the use of augmented reality to visualise unbuilt development proposals at public consultation.

Create Streets are working on an online tool permitting users to measure the quality of a place and gives analysis of correlations between urban form with wellbeing, health, happiness and value.

ODI Leeds are working on two projects:

  • PDFs for Planners is exploring how commonly used planning documents could update in real time from data in the cloud.
  • ‘A clearer plan’ is bringing together existing open data in a tool for those that want to submit a planning application or understand the local housing picture.

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