The ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper is an excellent endorsement of the UK PlanTech industry as the Government has recognised the potential for the UK to become global leaders in digital planning and in PlanTech to revolutionise and democratise the sector.
Technology needs to be at the core of future legislation. The challenges of the last six months have been an incredible catalyst for change as we have all witnessed how planning authorities and others have embraced the transparency, flexibility and accessibility of PlanTech. VU.CITY has been at the heart of this, through the digitisation of schemes and alongside our Cloud platform, we provide the capacity for users to work from home.
This is just the beginning of the conversation. One of the things we’ve set out to do at VU.CITY is devise a tool that will help the property world deal with the three key issues that the sector is currently under fire for lack of trust, over-complexity and under-engagement.
The White Paper outlines four key areas in which VU.CITY is delivering for Planning for the Future:
Helping everyone feel informed and engaged
Democratising planning and making it more accessible whilst streamlining and speeding up the process sounds counterintuitive to anyone who has been involved in the process before. However, engaging the public early with accessible, engaging information will allow more people to understand the ideas and issues at stake.
We can see that with the right technology and a degree of community empowerment and education, this could provide the efficiencies that the Government is looking for and more importantly, this will build trust. Last year we assisted Croydon Council in their Local Plan consultation using the latest 3D technology and virtual reality to bring it to life in a new way.
Although Whitehall and the GLA have issued grants for digital transformation and community involvement in planning, a much more comprehensive investment will be required to achieve the scale of the transformation they desire. This will need to cover the shift from legacy systems as well the investment in new tech and, perhaps most importantly the training and education of the sector.
Overall, it is heartening to see recognition for the immensely significant role PlanTech can play in the future of planning. For me, this is a hugely positive step that will not only improve planning but will also lead to much greater integration of the development of buildings and space with far broader ‘smart’ initiatives that will make our cities better places for everyone.