AECOM launches virtual public consultation tool

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Globally available tool allows clients to continue driving public engagement with their projects during COVID-19 pandemic

East Lothian Council, Oxfordshire County Council and Public Health England are among the AECOM clients that have signed up to use the global infrastructure firm’s new interactive web-based tool that allows remote consultation with stakeholders using a desktop or mobile device. The new tool is designed to allow clients to engage with a wider audience, especially those who cannot attend in-person meetings during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“In the face of unprecedented challenges, it was critical that we create a seamless digital environment to visualise projects, meet virtually and bring communities together in partnership with our clients around the world,” said Kevin Carlson, AECOM’s global lead for Digital Transformation. “Over the next few months, we will continue to focus on bringing new collaborative experiences, driven by our global expertise in digital delivery, to the marketplace.”

Through the new platform, a virtual event can be personalized to show consultation materials including virtual reality and sound demonstrations, videos, maps, plans and pop up banners. The tool, which works on desktop and mobile, allows for ‘instant feedback so public reaction can be captured and saved for analysis and accurate reporting. There is also a chat function so on-hand experts can remotely answer questions as visitors look around the materials, similar to what would take place during an in-person event.

A demonstration of the tool is available here.

“We already use a number of digital tools during our community engagement sessions such as visualisations, sound demonstrations and interactive apps, so it makes complete sense to bring them together on a digital platform,” said Andy Thomas, AECOM’s head of Visualisation & VR in EMEA. “The use of digital engagement tools enables stakeholders and communities to understand proposals, allowing them to provide an informed response and participate in the consultation process. This tool will allow that process to reach a wider audience, allowing more widespread buy-in for major infrastructure projects.”

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