Shape the future digital solutions that could be used to improve how we live, work, and connect

Local people are invited to share their views on the council’s Smart Place objectives to help inform a strategy for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

BCP Council’s Smart Place programme looks to use and develop technology to create digital solutions that improve the lives of local people. As part of this, the council has launched a consultation today (8 June) asking residents and local businesses to feedback on the aims of the programme to ensure a focus is placed on doing the things that matter to residents and businesses.

Taking a place-based approach, the Smart Place initiative will look to identify, create and retain more value in the local economy, greatly benefiting the whole community.

Councillor Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning, said: “Technology is constantly changing and adapting to the current environment and that is exactly what we are looking to do in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. We’ve been gaining international recognition in the Smart Place arena, and now we want to harness and embrace this technology to find digital solutions that best serve our community.

“This initiative also compliments our work on the council’s wider transformation programme – making sure that we unlock a modern, accessible and digital 21st century council. Our ambition is to go beyond traditional council services to provide something far more innovative to create more engagement with those who may have limited contact with us or other public bodies.

“Developed in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole by BCP Council, the Beach Check app, launched last year in response to visitor numbers in the region was born from the Smart Place programme and is an excellent example of the way pioneering technology can be used to address urban challenges and much more. The app has now been selected by the Government to be rolled out nationally, again highlighting the real impact our Smart Place work is having.”

The council is currently trialling ways in which community challenges can be solved by innovative digital solutions, such as:

  • digital devices to support vulnerable adults to stay independent and in their own homes for longer
  • reducing crime levels through improved technology
  • enhancing high street visits through a novel wayfinding and retail experience
  • connectivity between homelessness support for improved access to services.

As part of the new consultation, local people are being encouraged to complete an online survey and prioritise the objectives set out for the programme. There is also an interactive board available for people who wish to submit their thoughts and ideas about how they’d like technology to be used in the area.

Councillor Broadhead continued “We are currently putting together a strategy which brings together the things we want to achieve through our Smart Place programme. Typically, if you’re going out to an event, you might also want to check out the most popular places to eat, make a restaurant booking and organise your travel – all from our proposed local Smart Place app. This is just one of the initiatives that our Smart Place is seeking to enable.

“From making affordable smart devices, promoting local jobs and events, creating augmented reality experiences and tracking local air quality, you, our residents, and our area, are at the heart of our plans, which is why we’d like you to help us inform this strategy. Take a look at our aims and objectives for the Smart Place programme and give us your views.

“We really do have an amazing opportunity here in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole to use innovative digital technology to improve the lives of local people, enhance local businesses, attract new investors and help protect our environment. I’m really excited to see and hear what you think!”

Complete the survey or submit an idea here: haveyoursay.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/smartplace

The survey closes on Tuesday 6 July 2021.