Plenty of UK places pay lip service to digital technology, but not so many are actively embracing it.
There are all sorts of reasons for this. The team at Real Towns has partnered with People and Places to explore this in a fresh look at the challenges facing British placemakers who want to ‘go digital’ – and the indisputable rewards of getting connected.
For many, digital has become the elephant in the room of the Council Chamber or committee.
Everybody knows it’s the future, but not everyone is game to get out of their comfort zone and tackle something ground-breaking and new.
Lack of available finance, tech knowhow and digital champions on the ground is preventing many UK places from making the leap – which is unfortunate, because all these problems can be overcome with the right approach.
By taking a Real Towns Digital Health Check, a strategy can be drawn up to tailor the most far-reaching and cost-effective use of digital technology in each place.
It’s all about finding the right customised plan to help communities meet their short, medium and long term goals.
Whole-town marketing lies at the heart of the Real Towns approach, uniting every element of a town, city or community in a holistic way.
Rather than just twiddling around the edges, a unified approach ensures that businesses, tourism outlets, local authorities, heritage, conservation, schools, charities and local community groups work together towards a common goal rather than pulling in different directions.
Real Towns is currently working with a tech partner on a whole-town app which channels all these town functions into one system – an interactive platform where everyone can connect, converse and transact in real time, every day on their mobile phones.
The app collects information and data from engaged residents and feeds it back to those who need it to make better placemaking decisions, so residents have a real say in their future.
Look out for the launch of the UK’s first pilot project using this innovative technology.
In the meantime, discover how and why British towns are long overdue for a digital makeover.