It’s all in place

techUK's Head of Local Public Services, Georgina Maratheftis, explores how place based working has become the norm as part of our #PlaceLedInnovation week

All this week techUK is curating content and events to showcase how digital and data is helping top reimagine our places and improve outcome for citizens. We have some great case studies and examples to show how technology can be the enabler to smarter, greener create places where citizens want to live and thrive.

What do we mean by a place based approach?

At the heart of a place based approach is the citizen. It is about organisations working together across the place to improve outcomes for people, collaborating to solve common challenges.

Is place based working now the norm?

We are seeing a “place based approach” to public service transformation and delivery starting to take root across local, health and emergency services. Public services have been tirelessly working together with community groups, health, emergency services, industry partners and many others across the place to meet the needs of the most vulnerable. Public services with the right digital and data infrastructure in place have been able to act as the broker and convener across the community, cutting across boundaries to solve common challenges and improve outcomes for the people and place.

Breaking boundaries

In techUK’s communities and public services post COVID-19 webinar, we heard from Paul Brewer, Director for Digital & Resources, Adur & Worthing Councils who shared a great example of working across the place. They were able to utilise existing digital platforms to understand demand and design a service within 48 hours to manage referrals across voluntary organisations and supporting community with the volunteers. Paul also mentioned that the crisis has helped break down the traditional territorial barriers on who delivers what service. We now need to look at how we continue and reshape this infrastructure post COVID-19 to maintain neighborhood working in an organic way.

Connected places

With increasing cross-agency working and greater collaboration, technologies, such as cloud-based services, are being deployed to ensure delivery partners can seamlessly work together – whether remotely or physically onsite – to find solutions to local challenges.  During the pandemic many of us work remotely, collaborative tools and platforms have enabled us to stay connected with each other and services. You can read some great examples of how we have stayed connected while physically apart from techUK’s #ConnectandProtect month.

Technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT), can help create smart places and communities. The use of IoT sensors in key local assets, like roads and bridges, which can cross local boundaries, also provides another opportunity for local agencies to generate a common view of the state of local infrastructure and coordinate and take action together, where needed. Sensors can also help create a more connected health and social care system and put citizens in charge of their care.

CityVerve in Manchester is using IoT to join people together across the population of 2.5 million. As part of its Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) treatment project, an app is used to alert its users if the sensors in their home detect an unhealthy temperature or if particular parts of the city are badly polluted that day.

Place shapers

As local public services and communities plan for renewal and recovery, this week will explore what lessons can we learn from the crisis, and what can we take forward from the place led innovations as we design our future and reshape our communities and services. We will explore everything from how digital can reimagine our communities to how councils can use their place shaping powers to help solve key policy challenges such as climate change and build back better greener economies.

It is about bringing technology and place together to solve the pressing issues our communities face, and creating places where citizens want to live, work, thrive and feel safe.

Join us in sharing your views and case studies using the hashtag #PlaceLedInnovation or attending one of our events happening this week