Customer story: City of Edinburgh Council

Community Engagement Process
'screenshot of 'City of Edinburgh Council
'screenshot of 'City of Edinburgh Council

Safe Space

In June 2022, Edinburgh Council launched an initial three-month-long consultation process focused on women's safety in public places, a vital issue for communities around the world. Billed as "the start of much wider work required to make Edinburgh 'safer by design' for everyone, particularly women and girls and people with protected characteristics", the project involved the use of focus groups and an online survey. Having worked with Delib since 2015, Edinburgh Council naturally chose Citizen Space for the latter.

The activity collected the views of hundreds of people who live, work, study or socialise within the Edinburgh area, providing the council with essential data and real life experiences to feed into their decision making on improving public safety for women and girls.

The engagement was an important one, but Edinburgh Council were also aware that to ensure real change, it couldn't simply be a one-off. In March 2023, they launched Phase Two.

Multi-layered feedback

Once again, Edinburgh Council worked with Citizen Space, a platform that was very much tried and tested when it came to their work in next-generation consultations. But they also took full advantage of the platform's capabilities to build a survey that was inclusive, easy-to-use and which guaranteed quality feedback.

Together with a mix of multiple choice and open response questions, the second survey used Citizen Space Geospatial to enable respondents to drop a pin on a map when marking areas where they feel safe. They could then add further details if they wanted to, giving the council crucial insight and more easily-readable data than if the survey had merely required residents to struggle with long-winded or vague text descriptions.

Accessibility was further heightened by the survey being available in Polish, Arabic, simplified Chinese and Urdu.

Best practice engagement

Through their extensive use of Citizen Space's capabilities, Edinburgh Council were able to gain meaningful insight on an issue that impacts on the lives of everyone who spends time in the city. And by feeding back and following up on the initial activity, they were able to demonstrate that they truly valued people's responses and were willing to take action on them - a key factor when it comes to legitimacy, and public engagement in future activities.

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