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On & offline engagement for Northwold Estate Redevelopment

Guinness Partnership used Commonplace in order to hear from local residents from the Northwold Estate, Hackney.

They were keen to understand how communal areas and facilities could be improved as part of an estate redevelopment project. The consultation objective of the engagement was to enable the local community to make informed choices about the regeneration proposals for the future of the estate.


Commonplace has worked with Guinness Partnership and Newman Francis since May 2017 to provide a consistent online hub for community engagement on this Hackney regeneration project.

Guinness Partnership wanted to take the community with them throughout this project. They recognised the benefit that the openness of Commonplace would provide in helping to foster and build trust.

Online and offline engagement was key to ensure everyone in the community could participate. Naturally, Commonplace provided the online portal where all residents could view proposals and submit their suggestions at any time throughout the process.

Newman Frances, a community development organisation, were responsible for the offline engagement activities. They organised public meetings and workshops to gather community feedback in person. To ensure all of the data collected could sit in one place, they used Commonplace Survey Mode and paper forms that could be uploaded to the platform to collect feedback at these events.

"Commonplace was a critically important part of this project. The technology worked like a dream and it helped us to get better feedback and create better relationships." Chris Jenkins - Newman Francis

Consistent, open engagement

A single online hub
Face-to-face engagement with residents is the most important mode of engagement for any estate regeneration project. A single, always on, online location for information about the project is also essential. When the hub also allows residents to feedback at any time, day or night, and to view the comments of others, this becomes a critical resource.

Regular updates
The Commonplace news feature enabled the Northwold project team to reach a large group of residents with regular updates about the project, about events and about where they could find information.

Phased project, phased engagement

The project consisted of a number of phases, which could be individually opened and closed on the Northwold Commonplace site.

The first phase set out the timeline of the project, and asked people about immediate improvements that could be made. Other phases included getting feedback on potential development options.

Openness and trust

Concise Summary
The Commonplace dashboard and analytical tools make it simple to review what the community as a whole has said. Because these summaries are available in real time, you can update people regularly. This two-way flow of information is an example of how Commonplace helps convince residents that they can trust the process.

Open commenting
One of the fundamental differences between Commonplace and other engagement tools is that Commonplace is open - meaning everyone can read everyone else’s comments. The beauty of this approach is that everyone knows that nothing is hidden, which is an important principle of any trusting relationship.

Integrate feedback from events
One of the most important tools is Commonplace survey mode, which was used by the Northwold project team to collect feedback in the streets, at events and in one-to-one interviews.


Learn more about Northwold Estate