Community Mapping Tool
Topic of the practice
London Borough of Sutton's Community Mapping Tool - an interactive, web-based mapping tool to support development of Adaptation Action Plans and facilitate community engagement at a local level. A publicly accessible tool to enable communities and other stakeholders to analyse climate change impacts affecting their neighbourhood.
Good Practice Information
All of the GRaBS partners have identified, gathered and formatted numerous GIS datasets and textual data on an extensive range of climate change hazards and vulnerablities in order to assist the University of Manchester develop a user-friendly Assessment Tool to highlight climate change risks and vulnerabilities in urban areas, and in order to aid the strategic planning and delivery of climate change adaptation responses. Using the data collected as part of this exercise, the London Borough of Sutton went on to develop a bespoke map-based and fully interactive 'Community Mapping Tool', available via the Council's website. Drawing on the participation principles established by the Amsterdam City District Nieuw-West as part of their role as Community Participation Task Team leader, the Community Map will help to foster a better undertanding of the key climate hazards affecting residents in the Borough, and stimulate community involvement in adaptation planning.
Sutton made the decision to develop their Community Mapping Tool in this way, so that comprehensive climate change data would be made available to local communities in a singularly accessible and coherent way together with other data sets such as those showing local infrastructure and community facilities. This will enable climate change to be integrated in to local planning and decision making particularly in line with the UK Government’s Localism agenda, and help meet objectives for neighbourhoods to create their own Neighbourhood Plans for growth. A better understanding will be enabled by communities of key climate hazards affecting the borough (including flooding, drought and high temperatures), and their social, economic, environmental impacts, creating a strategy for bottom-up community engagement as supported by Nieuw-West Amsterdam's Expert Paper on the topic.
Evidence of success
This is good practice because by developing the GRaBS Climate change Risks and Vulnerabilities Assessment tool, Sutton now has a comprehensive range of datasets covering over 40 categories of climate change vulnerability and hazard, which enable the council to delliver cost effective access to comprehensive spatial information on climate hazards and vulnerabilities. The development of the tool brought together datasets from different council departments which were previously kept separately thereby creating a more informative image of the socio-economic and environmental hazards facing the community. By being online on the Council website, there are considerable savings in telephone calls and face-to-face meetings with the community inquiring about climate change issues and has increased the rsidents' awareness and use of smart mapping. So the tool is cost-effective, accessible, easy to use and raises awareness about climate change issues.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Town and Country Planning Association
Annex completed on: 11-09-2011