What we do

We develop finely tuned consultation and engagement strategies for each client, using unique tools that have been developed and tested by us and delivered by teams of highly experienced, motivated and creative people.

We do this by:

Raising awareness – communications about the project
Engaging – meeting people, getting them actively involved
Taking soundings – research into the place and its people
Visioning – imagining future scenarios and environments
Participating – working with people to develop designs
Consulting – finding out peoples thoughts and opinions
Feeding back – reporting back what has been said

Why we do it

“The success of a particular public space is not solely in the hands of the architect, urban designer or town planner; it relies also on people adopting, using and managing the space – people make places, more than places make people.”

‘The Social Value of Public Spaces’ Joseph Rowntree Foundation

The ultimate aim of what we do is to create deliverable and sustainable regeneration. The means to achieving this is through the development of a strategy, which ensures the masterplanning / project development / design process is fully informed by community engagement.

We believe that consultation and engagement woven into the design development process leads to a better, more integrated, design. This design is often better understood and owned by those who will use the place in the future. Public consultation in relation to regeneration and urban design projects is increasingly no longer an option, but a necessary part of the design process.

Soundings’ approach to Community Engagement stems from a set of principles that have been the basis of all our consultation.

Soundings’ 10 principles

Our principles underpin our approach to every project.

  1. Work bottom-up and top-down
  2. Work in partnership
  3. Be impartial
  4. Understand places and how they’re made
  5. Get the bigger picture
  6. Communicate clearly
  7. Make sense of multiple voices
  8. Our process is transparent
  9. Make memorable events
  10. Establish legacy

What you get

For the client and the planning process:

• Local knowledge base
• A plan that fits, tuned to local demands
• Place making and project identity
• Consensus and support
• Positive public perception of process
• Trust

For the community:

• Capacity building – individual development – skills, training, knowledge
• Empowerment – access to the decision making and planning process
• Clear communication channels
• Consultation takes place on the back of real projects with real outcomes
• A positive experience

A shared legacy:

• Local groups committed to the long-term success of place
• An empowered community committed to long term change
• Community benefits strategy
• Communities of interest
• A sustainable community
• A better place