Public consultation is a central part of any major new infrastructure scheme – an opportunity to raise concerns and debate the details. Traditionally, these consultations take place in local town halls or similar venues, with people dropping in when convenient, to learn more about the project.
Virtual Engage builds on the popularity of local public consultations, making the information available to a wider range of local people, in a more convenient web-based experience. And in a socially distant time, the value of a virtual and interactive environment in which to conduct these vital consultations, or any type of exhibition is clear. Arup Virtual Engage is a timely solution.
Experience and learn, debate and consult
Arup Virtual Engage allows the public or a specific audience to access information, view maps and drawings, watch scheme fly-throughs, navigate 3D models and share feedback from any location and at any time. We can build a virtual room or produce a 360-degree scan of an exhibition hall. The virtual consultation can then be experienced from any web-connected device, when and wherever is convenient for the visitor.
Tailored to your scheme
Every Virtual Engage environment is different, reflecting the individual needs of our clients and the scheme they want to share. We design, build and manage a virtual environment that reflects the same level of detail shared in a traditional physical presentation. There are advantages to the virtual world too: we can include live chat sessions with topic experts, or feedback portals so users can post their comments. We can also help to process feedback and respond to questions.
Other benefits include:
A reduced carbon footprint associated with physical consultation events
Reaching demographic groups who don’t typically attend physical consultation events
Efficient data capture to help shape future engagement
Adaptive web design, optimised for desktop, mobile and tablet use
Cost savings associated with physical events, including venue hire, staff time, content production and printing costs
Engage in action
Discover how Virtual Engage has been successfully used to support a number of exhibitions and consultations with our clients.
Virtual exhibition for the New Tees Crossing, Tees Valley
We produced a virtual exhibition to present the options being developed for a new road crossing over the River Tees in northern England to the local community. Part of Arup’s scope was to undertake a public consultation to inform which option should be taken forward to Preferred Route Announcement. Whilst traditional methods of public consultation were used, the team wanted to widen the reach of the consultation.
The virtual space was developed around a 360 degree image of one of the physical events, a local setting that many visitors would recognise. Users could open panels to read information and watch media before leaving their comments or interacting with staff online. The online room was visited by more than 5,000 people.
This innovative use of technology enabled more people to access the consultation material and brought the scheme to life. The project has set the standard for how we consult on major schemes in the future. ” Tees Valley Combined Authority
Virtual consultation for the A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross, Cornwall
The A30 is vital for Cornwall's economy and connectivity. In 2017, we supported Highways England to develop the preliminary design to upgrade the carriageway between Chiverton and Carland Cross.
As part of the consultation process, our team developed a virtual consultation environment to compliment the physical consultation. This virtual space was created using a scanned 360 degree image of the real exhibition - allowing the public to explore information and a fly-through video of the proposed scheme from the convenience of home.
Data from the virtual exhibition shows it was accessed by nearly as many customers as the live events and that the team were successful in reaching a more diverse demographic group, one of the key aims of the team working on the scheme.