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Community Data Platform designed to improve urban planning

Yeme Tech, a Bradford-based startup aims to improve urban planning for towns and cities by helping planners respond more effectively to local needs for community facilities, spaces and events.

The Community Data Platform (CDP) is designed to help planners and developers instantly identify social infrastructure, facilities, and community spaces which are missing from British neighbourhoods. 

The founder and CEO of  Yeme Tech is Amir Hussain, who is also Deputy Chair of Housing Regeneration and Place at West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Amir believes the Community Data Platform will create happier, healthier and more engaged neighbourhoods by empowering councils and developers to identify facilities and events which residents actually need and will frequent.

Having signing a partnership deal with Esri UK, part of the world’s largest provider of geographic information system (GIS) software Yeme Tech plans to take this approach global.

Instead of imposing top-down solutions on neighbourhoods the platform is layered with granular insights about communities to help planners and developers cultivate and manage long-term relationships with the people who have the largest stake in the success of a neighbourhood – the local residents.

Amir said the platform, not only measures community resources – such as schools, shops, green space, libraries and cultural assets – but also local stakeholders, local events and the activities of local groups.

This gives a far more holistic view of the social as well as economic health of communities. It can cross-reference this data with demographic information to better judge whether local needs are being satisfied and, crucially, whether there are any gaps in provision.

This enables planners and developers to make sure new property and social interventions deliver inclusive growth for marginalised and hard-to-reach community groups. It also helps to create more integrated and fulfilling places for everyone.  

With the importance of social value now a key business consideration, the platform’s ESG Social Reporting Index helps developers, investors and others to target and evidence social uplift around their assets or development sites.

Amir said: ‘Society has changed beyond all recognition over the past 30 years. The failure of places to keep pace with change is understandable but means towns and cities across the UK, like those across the world, have lost track of the needs and wants of local people. This leads to places losing their sense of identity while loneliness, exclusion and community fragmentation are having profound impacts on health and wellbeing.

‘The death of retail and the High Street offers councils and developers a bold opportunity to reinvent their neighbourhoods by strengthening existing social and community assets and strengthening relationships with local stakeholders.

‘It can be very complex and time-consuming to regenerate our towns and cities to adapt to meet the current and future needs and wants of their citizens.

‘What our Community Data Platform does is provide granular local detail in real-time to strip away the complexity and enable planners and developers to work with local communities to deliver successful urban planning which provides the facilities and social infrastructure that people need and want.’

Amir was inspired by Lord Mawson’s work at the Bromley by Bow Centre, the first integrated health centre in Britain which included community support, business support, housing support, an art gallery, and an events venue.

Lord Andrew Mawson OBE, director of Andrew Mawson Partnerships and President of the Bromley by Bow Centre, said: ‘Supporting people, helping them to identify opportunities and empowering them to take up those opportunities is how the Bromley By Bow Centre works.

‘Yeme Tech takes those principles and provides data insight to help planners and developers to identify opportunities which will transform our towns and cities and their inhabitants.

‘Yeme Tech is pioneering a different way of doing things – informed by the work we have been doing over the past 40 years – by enabling cities to be planned for the benefit of people and developed in co-operation with communities based on the data insights of what the people actually need.

‘One day all cities will be planned like this and we will wonder why the Community Data Platform did not exist sooner.’

 

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