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.
Arup Virtual Engage builds on the popularity of local public consultations, making the information available to a wider range of people, in a more convenient web-based experience. In a socially distant time, the value of a virtual and interactive environment in which to conduct these consultations, or any type of exhibition, is clear.
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:
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
A reduced carbon footprint associated with physical consultation events
Engage in action
Discover how Arup Virtual Engage has been successfully used to support a number of exhibitions and consultations with our clients.
Virtual consultation for the A417 ‘Missing Link’ upgrade scheme, Highways England
Highways England is developing plans to improve the A417 in Gloucestershire, UK. The ‘Missing Link’ project is a landscape-led scheme to upgrade a three-mile stretch of single-lane carriageway. It is designed to deliver a safe and resilient free-flowing road upgrade, while conserving and enhancing the special character of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Highways England looked for solutions to consult with stakeholders and the public about the scheme during the Covid-19 pandemic in a way that was as convenient and safe as possible. The team used Virtual Engage to launch a supplementary consultation, representing one of the first digitally-led statutory consultation Highways England has undertaken.
The A417 virtual room provides information about the scheme, a 3D fly-through animation video, live chat functionality and even resources for children. The room was available 24 hours a day and from any device during the consultation period.
The extended Highways England team, including our partners at Arup, put a mind blowing virtual consultation package together which is testament to the way we keep on moving forward during testing times. Virtual Engage is a key part of this package – bringing life to our proposals and an enhanced engagement experience for the public. We'd rather see visitors in person, but in the meantime, we'll keep doing the best we can to reach as many people as we can. ” Nick Aldworth, Regional Delivery Director, Highways England