The existing tools are part of DCN’s new digital strategy for Social Engagement to continue receiving online feedback on the needs of local residents.
The platform includes interactive maps, information about the project and a virtual museum.
Distrito Castellana Norte has deployed the new virtual platform VecinosMadridNorte.com to facilitate the engagement of Madrid’s citizens in Madrid Nuevo Norte. The new tool allows DCN’s Social Engagement Area to provide further information on this large urban regeneration project in a much more accessible and user-friendly way while widening interaction to all Madrid residents and collecting their feedback online. The tool has various applications, including interactive maps, workshops via videoconference and a virtual museum.
Ensuring that Madrid Nuevo Norte meets the real needs of Madrid residents is one of Distrito Castellana Norte’s goals. The company is convinced that it is not possible to carry out a project of this magnitude and relevance without the support of the citizens. To that end, the Social Engagement Area has been working directly and continuously with neighbours, groups and associations for over three years to understand their expectations and convey them to the public and technical institutions that design the project.
In recent months, the situation brought about by the health crisis has prompted a rethink and change of many things to ensure that our interaction with people can continue with the same intensity. Hence, DCN’s Social Engagement Area has adapted its face-to-face activities to an online format in record time, temporarily replacing the neighbourhood offices with video calls and collaborative tools to provide spaces for dialogue.
However, this change could not be limited to this emergency measure only. Exceptional circumstances require an in-depth adaptation to the current reality and its needs. Therefore, DCN has launched the virtual platform VecinosMadridNorte.com, as part of its new engagement strategy, to provide easily accessible information about the project and interactively gather feedback from Madrid’s residents.
Participation and information tools
The platform integrates several tools and applications from the outset. It will continue to incorporate new onesboth over the coming months and as the circumstances of this project require. Therefore, at the time of its launch, the website already has interactive maps, in which anyone can recommend their favourite places in the neighbourhood, shops, spaces for sports… The website also allows citizens to plan their cycling routes, tag the daily route to school or indicate other elements that can be improved in the urban space.
The coronavirus crisis has prompted a rethink of the exhibition programme organised by Social Engagement in partnership with artists, schools, neighbourhood associations and other groups. To that end, a virtual reality-based (VR) online museum has been created, enabling the users to walk through its rooms to discover the contents.
The first online exhibition of this museum is “Chamartín: Past, Present and Future”, organised together with Adif, the Costa Fleming Association and the AIDI Association, that was initially scheduled for last March at Chamartín Station. The exhibition, which focuses on the history, present and future transformation of the railway infrastructure and Chamartín district, can now be toured on your mobile phone, PC or tablet.
The Social Engagement Area is organising new exhibitions in the coming months, including “Parkour and the City”, to highlight different uses of urban space and “Las Tablas from a child’s perspective”, with photographs taken by students of Colegio Público Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo in Las Tablas.
The new website will make it easier to access theme-based working groups and workshops that DCN is developing in Madrid Nuevo Norte’s neighbouring districts, together with relevant societal groups such as local SMEs and urban cycling groups. Furthermore, it offers the possibility to sign up for information on future activities and news on the progress of the project.
The website provides in-depth information on Social Engagement’s activities in recent years, through a comprehensive visualisation system, and access to tangible results on the outcome of the engagement efforts made in the neighbourhoods. It also presents some of the neighbourhood actors and leaders driving the support of associations and groups for Madrid Nuevo Norte.
This new digital strategy to reach out to the citizens through the Internet has only just begun. It will soon be expanded with new forms of engagement, virtual workshops, briefings, new maps and applications. Meetings between universities and researchers and civil society will also be encouraged to identify the new needs of citizens to integrate them into the project.
In a context as complicated as the COVID-19 crisis, Madrid’s citizens have risen to the challenge. DCN continues to work with the citizens, online and in person, to continue building the Madrid of the future together.