Urbanpinion is a citizen engagement platform that lets city government, community leaders, architects and activists easily set up a landing with an interactive map to collect citizens suggestions, receive analytics based on collected data and make later on right decisions for city development.
Before the pandemic, it was possible to meet, have a workshop, and public hearings. But suddenly we were all locked at home. So my colleagues and I were puzzled — what to do now with the project of the park, which we just had to do in 2020 in the spring. Hmm … we already had such an experience before the pandemic … and for working with the territory it turned out to be very difficult — you just have a list of ideas that are not tied to a place, you need to analyze and draw up this … and if you managed to collect marks on the map, then the map is too public and not moderated … well … too many BUT … Are you in the business of urban development and are you familiar with this too? Yes Yes. Our custdev showed it too. But we were lucky in lockdown — not long before that, after analyzing the results of custdev, my colleagues and I began to develop MVP for a completely new product, in which you can conduct a survey of residents on an interactive map immediately on the finished landing page. At that time, the product was still raw, and we were not sure whether it would be possible to use it now in real design, or if it still could not replace the live presentation of ideas, and then Bingo — life presented us such an amazing opportunity for a pilot project. After all, just imagine — all institutions, everything around quickly closed because of lockdown. We had only 2 days to collect ideas of residents for the development of the park and submit them to the city administration. And we decided to test our product “in a battle”.
As it turned out, everything worked perfectly — in 2 days we collected 100 ideas, on the basis of which the architects created a concept, which was later discussed in Zoom with the most active residents. Ideas were submitted to the administration and taken for implementation for 2022. The park will soon be completed. We were incredibly pleased with the result, because many are skeptical about working with residents in the online space, but it seems to us that 2020 and 2021 and the pandemic have already shown us all that there is a place for digital tools in urbanism. Now let’s go back a little — so how did it all begin? How did we get the idea for the service even before the pandemic? Everything is very simple — in the winter of 2020 we were just processing the results of the surveys for the same residential quarter where the park is, as I said, we just used Google maps, Google Forms, made the site manually — then we got the idea that it would be nice to put it all together, with analytics at the output, of course. And then we saw that architects, developers, management companies and a large number of organizations that are ready to carry out proactive budgeting, participatory design and discuss the most important issues with residents in every possible way, have a need for such a product. We analyzed the market, saw that there are competitors on it, and accordingly, it would be interesting to try our hand at creating a super useful product — after all, we all want to make our world a little better — in our case, to establish a dialogue between citizens, the state and business, to make the voices of residents heard, help create a comfortable urban environment. So, after the pilot project with the park, we finalized the design of our product, went through a couple of accelerators, which allowed us to refine the product and better understand our target audience.
I can tell you a little bit about 2 projects that we’ve done under the European Union programme Interreg.
One was a collection of ideas for a **historical building redevelopment in Kaliningrad. **Here we collected 125 ideas, many of which were unique and very useful. Another case was participative budgeting in Suojärvi city - here we not only helped with voting for the territory development and collection of ideas, but also participated in sessions with citizens.
All in all our platform was used for city development in 17 cities and our clients were architectural bureaus, museums, real estate companies, city activists…
|Last Modified:||2022-09-08 00:00:00|