Community Engagement

Our focus on meaningful engagement and co-design helps us understand what matters most to people so we can design the homes and spaces they want

With our roots established in estate regeneration in the 1980’s, BPTW has a leading reputation for implementing effective community engagement and co-design processes, underpinned by a desire to place people at the heart of the decision making and build stronger, more resilient communities.

We use varied communication and engagement tools centred on proactive participation, empowering communities to have agency in design. Through this, we keep communities informed, encourage local ‘champions’ and ensure local views shape our proposals to create places people love.

Building trust

Building trust is central to our design approach. We advocate collaborating with communities and  stakeholders before we start designing, and we listen, understand, and record their aspirations as we prepare the project’s brief. We build frameworks for communities to hold us and the client to account. For instance, we support ballot processes, contribute to Landlord Offer documents and draft Community Communication Charters.

Raising awareness

We collaborate with our clients to raise awareness within communities about development and open-up engagement to ensure diverse participation, especially from those who are seldom- heard. Unique to each project, we use a wide range of digital and non-digital communication tools and processes to ensure our consultation is easy-to access and wide-reaching, enabling everyone have their say.

Choosing the right engagement

We use straightforward and innovative engagement methods tailored to every project; these include interactive online tools as well as face-to face consultation such estate walkarounds,  workshops, resident steering groups and public exhibitions. Our stakeholder mapping process identifies the community’s needs to define our engagement process, including understanding local demographics to help overcome barriers to participation.

Co-designing with communities

Our engagement approach places residents and the community at the heart of decision-making. We run capacity-building workshops to provide residents with the tools they need to partake in the design process, and we lead interactive design workshops and forums that explore development ideas and give communities agency in design decision making.

// We commend the client and its design team for the way in which they have involved the local community in their plans to regenerate this housing estate, ensuring that their needs and aspirations are driving change at Rectory Park. //
Design Council CABE

Collaborating with others

We understand that communities need independent representatives to advocate for their needs. We often collaborate with community engagement specialists, our clients’ engagement teams or wider community and advocacy groups through the consultation process; we aim to work in partnership to understand the interests of all consultees and achieve a consensus between competing interests in developing design proposals.

// We had an outstanding ballot result, both turnover and yes exceeded 80%. Just want to thank BPTW for their major contribution towards achieving this. All that good design engagement work building trust and confidence paid off. Thank you! //   
Robin Smith, Housing Projects Advisor, LB Croydon