The Community Planning Website was first conceived by Michael Mutter at DFID. We were completing the first edition of The Community Planning Handbook in 1999, which DFID supported the research for, and at one of the final editorial meetings, Michael suddenly declared, ‘“You do know that this book is really a website don’t you.” He was right and DFID subsequently funded its design and construction.
Other enlightened organisations later sponsored various aspects of its development. Kelvin MacDonald initiated a tranche of case studies funded by The Royal Town Planning Institute, The Academy for Sustainable Development helped with a major update and English Partnerships, The European Union, The Prince’s Foundation, The Environment Agency and the Building & Social Housing Foundation all helped with specific features.
Its a great website and still well used. Its been Google’s Number 1 for ‘community planning’ for a decade and a half, despite determined efforts to unseat it. It has been praised for its design and content (see About this website).
There are many good new websites dealing with the same subject matter with more bells and whistles (e.g. Community21, Community Heart and Soul) but Communityplanning.net remains an unrivalled resource of basic how-to guidance and listings.
But Communityplanning.net needs investment to update it, technically and editorially. The original business model of securing funding from advertising is no longer sufficient (as many other idealistic web publishers have found) and Nick Wates Associates, which owns the copyright, no longer has the necessary resources to subsidise it. We are therefore looking for a partner or partners to invest in it and take it forward.
Any takers please get in touch.
One thought on “What shall we do with Communityplanning.net?”
Michael Mutter here – as mentioned above!
Although now retired, I still pursue Community Planning Action at the Max Lock Centre, University of Westminster.
Indeed we are planning a series of new Public Exhibitions.
It would be good to be back in touch with Nick Wates, and particularly with Jeremy Brook to continue the ideas we generated for the Max Lock People and Planning Exhibition in 1996.