I’ll be parachuting into the capital on Friday to take part in the first be2camp unconference. I’m really looking forward to being able to properly announce one of my latest projects: YouCanPlan Lozells.

A few weeks ago, Birmingham City Council put out an invitation to tender for an extremely innovative and ambitious proposal that would allow the residents of Lozells to comment on the plans for their community through a dedicated virtual environment. The bespoke software was required to be accessible both on and offline, allow the user to explore their neighbourhood in 3D, adjust the model themselves and make comparisons between design options then submit feedback to inform the next stage of development. It should show varying levels of detail, from the widest to the smallest and it should be ready to go in a matter of weeks.

It was a tall order, but I’ve managed to meet it with the help of the guys at Slider Studio. We’ve been collaborating on the development of their YouCanPlan software to create a model better suited to wider public consultation and aim to have the new version in the hands of the Lozells residents by December. In its original outing YouCanPlan was designed for the self-procurement market and saw its first big test during a competition featured in the AJ. The challenge for our Lozells project has been to improve usability for a more diverse user group and test the way hardware restrictions meet the breadth of parameters you need to accomodate in urban design critique.

Michael Kohn from Slider will be joining me at be2camp to talk about what we’ve achieved so far during the afternoon session of stream 2, so please come along and join in the debate about how (or if!) web 2.0 can play a part in the built environment. There’s also going to be a Pecha Kucha session in the evening and I think it still needs more participants…

5 thoughts on “be2camp

  1. Excellent. I’ll look out for that session in the schedule then.

    And I should get my finger out and sign up for Pecha Kucha too, just not sure exactly how to reprise the Internet of Things in a few fast-paced slides.

    Hopefully catch up with you on Friday.

  2. Dang Rob – my turn to regret not having found out about this in time! Looks like an interesting project and an enticing event yesterday. You don’t say anything here about user involvement in the development – would be keen to hear about that.

  3. Congrats on your Pecha Kucha performance, especially meet the challenge of discussing new forms or urbanism after a couple of light ales. Hopefully that will be on the Be2camp site soon. Having just written those words I’m wondering whether the next event should be on a green field.

  4. Kevin – You’ll certainly have to join us for the next one… there were many occasions when I found myself thinking: ‘We need Kevin Harris here for this discussion!’

    Phil – Thanks, I really enjoyed it. As for green fields, I was talking to the unorganisers about having the next one in Birmingham, does that qualify?

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