South Dublin County Council
Place and Environment
Role of Project:
Design and Communications, Engagement and Consultation, Report and Insights
South Dublin County Council (SDCC) contracted Connect the Dots, partnering with Jacobs, in early 2021 to work with SDCC to design, publicise, and deliver an online consultation programme that engaged the public and interest groups about the emerging concept route for the Canal Loop Urban Greenway. The process was also supported by Barry Transportation, who were previously commissioned by SDCC to carry out the feasibility assessment of route options that identified the emerging concept route.
The ultimate goal was to inform the public of the emerging Greenway route, gauge public opinion, and gather local insights from the Lucan area community about the emerging concept route to inform the next preliminary design stage of the project. The following report outlines the methods, results, feedback, and conclusions of the multifaceted consultation process.
Connect the Dots and SDCC worked together to design, develop, and deliver a consultation format that maximised engagement and consulted the community in as much depth as possible within the confines of the COVID-19 restrictions. The multifaceted methods utilised to engage with the public included:
- Informing local Councillors of the proposed method of engagement and timeframe for same
- An online survey
- A youth conservation kit
- A series of live online consultation events involving presentations, questions and answers, live polling and workshops
- A recorded online presentation
- The online display of material including maps, technical documents, photomontages and a video within a fully interactive Virtual Consultation Room
The Virtual Consultation Rooms included full plans of the proposed Greenway for online consultation. The room provided a map showing the route section by section and showcasing any proposed new infrastructure.
An adult and youth survey was designed and built by Connect the Dots concerning the route – this was then promoted to all stakeholders. The public could also access the surveys through the Virtual Consultation Room.
After running tailored engagement sessions online, we produced a report that centred around people’s views on how the greenway plans would be best approached and their preferences on the route. The online sessions ensured that full conversations could take place, giving everyone a chance to explain why they felt that certain options were optimal.
Outcomes of the Project
From start to finish we ensured a sustainable community engagement plan, allowing all views and outcomes to be discussed and disseminated with respect. The outcomes include::
- New levels of engagement for the community in conjunction with SDCC
- Recommendations for National Walking Strategy to ensure longevity for the project
- Agreement on high level action plan