As part of the development of the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan, the planning teams wanted a method to understand the sustainability of different locations throughout the region. With funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, the Joint Local Plan team worked with City Science to develop a flexible, detailed and accurate analysis tool to understand the sustainability of places.
The Cadence user experience team worked closely with the Joint Local Plan team following a GDS best-practice methodology for user engagement and agile development. The team created a technical solution that built on the pre-existing isochrone functionality to enable users to understand the distance to core services, as defined as important for 15- or 20-minute neighbourhoods. The solution was designed to ensure that all modes could be captured including Walking, Cycling and Public Transport. The team also worked closely with Plymouth and South West Devon to identify the most robust data sources for core services (e.g. GPs surgeries, Green Spaces etc.) and ingested these into Cadence 360. From here, new pre-processing was developed to enable a performant solution that would allow users to define and visualise their own metric within the application.
The solution has provided a step-change in the understanding of access to core services by different modes. Users are able to investigate transport access in a variety of ways including defining bespoke metrics to cover a particular area of interest e.g. education or health. Aggregate metrics that consider the complete needs of communities can also be defined and visualised within the application, allowing users to understand how close different locations are to being 15- or 20-minute neighbourhoods.