Shared Futures: Community Planning Toolkit

Website / Documentation
Short description

Uniting Historically Divided Populations Against Covid-19 using New AR Mapping App and Innovative Community Toolkit


Shared Futures’ is a Community Planning Toolkit enabling communities to co-create positive change together. Developed by Professor Peter Bloom from the University of Essex, The Belfast interface Project, and the Animorph Cooperative, it includes an augmented reality mobile App, a dedicated community website, and a Raspberry Pie powered local interface network for consultation and collaboration. The mobile app allows users to explore a realistic 3D “present” and “future” map of their area where they can leave and reply to comments posted by other community members. The website and local interface network serve as a complementary “shared space” for residents and the public to “community, consult, and cooperate” through real time knowledge sharing. We would like to further develop this toolkit in order to directly assist interface communities in Belfast who are divided by religion and politics to collaborate against the ongoing social, economic, and health impacts of the Covid-19 crisis both during the present lockdown and afterwards. Specifically, we would work with public health authorities in Northern Ireland to expand it to 8 interface sites across Belfast, focusing in particular on how this toolkit can be exploited to directly tackle emerging mental health issues linked to social isolation and foster collective problem solving between these historically conflictual populations. These efforts would be directly supported by the current head of the Belfast Interface Project Joe O’Donnell who is a former board member and current chairperson of PIPS, one of the foremost mental health charities in Northern Ireland who works very closely with a Public Health Authorities on a wide range of mental health issues and interventions. Moreover, they would reveal how social inclusion, wellbeing, and resilience can be promoted within these “hard to reach” communities when physical interaction is difficult or impossible such as during the present crisis. We believe that this project would have a profound short-term impact on these traditionally marginalised areas and be a long term “game changer” in showing how historically divided interface populations globally can unite to forge more empowered, prosperous, and resilient “Shared Futures” together.

Target country

United Kingdom

Project type

  • Community
  • Mental health
  • Research
  • Wellbeing
  • Work & Productivity

Support needed

  • Raising capital

What we need help with

o At present the project needs help with raising capital. The community toolkit is completed including the App, public websites, local interface networks. Yet we would need additional funding of up to 500K in order to further develop it and expand it across the whole of Belfast. In particular, we have the following estimated costs:  Product Development: 250K • Expansion of App to 6 new interface areas: 150K (25K per area) • Additional in app features for addressing community wellness and cross-community economic as well as social cooperation: 50K • Further Development of Community Tool Kit: 50K  Community Engagement: 100K • Full time community engagement officer (Belfast Interface Project): 50K • Public health researcher based in Northern Ireland (Belfast Interface Project): 25K • Digital Promotion and In Person Events: 25K  Research and Knowledge Dissemination: 100K • Academic Project Lead: 25K • Social Network Analysis: 50K • Knowledge Dissemination: 25K

Best way to get in touch

Email Project Lead Professor Peter Bloom (University of Essex):

Project status

  • Launched