Cambridge Community Development Plan – a first draft


A handful of slides to get local councillors and community groups thinking

I’ve put together a handful of slides together below.

130824 Cambridge Community Development Scoping Doc v1 <<<—Click here

It’s strong on social media – you’d expect that from me. That’s not to say we should ignore everything else or even prioritise it over everything else, as some of my critics get the impression that this is my disposition. My disposition is to find answers to this:

“How can we use social and digital media in a manner that complements what we do in and around our communities, rather than trying to use social media to replace those things?”

At this early stage, I’ve been deliberately ‘lite’ on the specifics. The initial challenge is persuading people of the concepts. For example you have to persuade people – institutions in particular – that having a community development strategy is indeed a useful thing to have, rather than trying to write the whole thing and imposing it on an unsuspecting community.

The set of slides I’ve included contain far more questions than answers. There’s only so much one person can know in a city of over 100,000 people. The number of insights that I have drawn from are inevitably limited, but the questions I have seek to draw the experiences of a much wider audience. What I hope this will give is a stronger evidence-base on which to proceed.

Gathering, processing, publishing and publicising information

This was something I picked up in an earlier blogpost – see here. It’s one of the principles of open knowledge and open data – the holders of both are unlikely to be aware of the different things that data and knowledge could be used for. Think of all of the academic research that over the decades has gathered dust over the years, untouched in university libraries. Think of the impact that getting more of that research online and free-to-access. Think of the digitisation of the ancient historical manuscripts that make our historical written treasures available to much wider audiences.

Co-operation and collaboration

I’m not going to pretend this will be straight forward. It requires local Labour and Lib Dem politicians to work together – something easier said than done in the run up to a general election! (I jest!)

Actually, local councillors – a number of whom are long-standing, are a wealth of civic history. One of my councillors has been a holder of public office longer than I’ve been alive. He’s been around for that long. (People keep re-electing him). That long term historical knowledge is actually very useful when it comes to decision-making processes. Think of the term ‘restoration’ – and the number of buildings that have or could be restored in your community. Having someone with the vision of what something was like and what it could be like again can be like community gold dust. Further thoughts on this can be found from Cllr Richard Johnson here.

Anyway, in those slides are lots of things to get people in and around Cambridge thinking. What are your thoughts?


2 thoughts on “Cambridge Community Development Plan – a first draft

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