One of the biggest issues for councils is urban regeneration and the communication challenges around it. Westminster Council has a very ambitious programme of redevelopment and regeneration, including large numbers of affordable homes. However, the projects cannot proceed without a huge amount of resident and consumer engagement.
A vital part of this communication role is the digital platform. We were asked by Westminster’s Growth, Planning and Housing department to create a microsite platforms that could live for the duration of the individual projects. Each site would start out as a simple information site for a project, then host the consultation, before finally becoming the go-to information source for any and all aspects of the projects.
We decided that the design needed to convey the vision and ambition for each project and not just be a text-heavy data source. The architecture was visually led with full-page images. We used these image spaces to either show the proposals as CGIs or use photography to celebrate the communities in the development locations. Each microsite has its own distinctive look but all the sites are designed to feel part of the same family, reflecting the shared goals of the place planning strategy.
We were already producing all the existing consultation and communication materials, so had a really good knowledge of what was required. Examples of the projects we have built microsites for so far include Church Street, Ebury Bridge and Strand / Aldwych.
The feedback from the stakeholders has been very positive so far. The analytics have shown exceptionally high dwell times across all the sites, and the data capture forms and consultation questionnaires have also surpassed expected submisissions.