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An essential tool in city planning to make people’s voices heard

Sweden’s capital Stockholm uses different digital tools to get in contact with its inhabitants. One of these tools is Mapita’s map based online questionnaire tool Maptionnaire, that is used to find out people’s opinions on how different areas of the city should be developed.

Stockholm’s Planning Department wanted to reach more target groups into the process of evaluating new projects before they are started. Maptionnaire has been used mainly in different housing projects, but also on what areas should be preserved.

– Maptionnaire is used with GIS as a ground layer. We then put volumes and constructions onto it and ask what people think. Opinions on how to use the spaces between buildings are also wanted, Planning Department’s Project Leader Birgitta Holmström tells.

– We really wanted to digitalize the feedback because then we would have a 24/7 tool for the public to get in touch with us and tell us what they think, she continues.

“The expectations we had, have been exceeded.”

Digitalization helps to get in touch with more target groups

One of the interesting areas Maptionnaire has been used with is the upcoming housing project of Södra Värtan. It’s going to be an area with 2,000-3,000 apartments and about 5,000 people living there.

– The results we got through Maptionnaire were interesting. People wanted to have different kind of activities and they were very keen on not wanting to have cars or busses close to the waterfront. They also wanted recreational
areas and parks for children. And of course a lot of grass and trees, Holmström reveals.

Before Maptionnaire, the Planning Department used to inform people through their website and have meeting meetings with them. Now they are able to reach whole new target groups, especially younger people.

– It’s very hard to interest younger people to come to meetings on weekdays at five o’clock in the afternoon. Maptionnaire has really helped us with this because you can do the questionnaires on a phone, PC or a tablet. One of the last surveys had about 3,600 people giving their opinions, and that was just for one area of the city.

For anyone working with geographical development

Holmström says that city planning is important because all the city’s inhabitants are affected by it. Keeping this in mind, Maptionnaire is a very important tool to make people’s voices heard.

– The expectations we had, have been exceeded. What is essential to know is that we are able to get very good knowledge on people’s opinions on different areas’ development. The genuine benefit is to get broader views.

– I would recommend Maptionnaire to other cities as well, because it’s an easily accessible tool for the public. It could be helpful to anyone who is working with geographical development, Holmström finishes.

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