An online community-university partnership for collaborating in improving the management and use of community buildings.
Jos Boys from BSSC collaborates with ReSpace Projects to co-develop a prototype extensible web-based open-source platform that brings together community organisations with university-based expertise to share knowledge, resources and services.
During 2020 we scoped an online hub community groups across the four London Olympic Park boroughs to link to university researchers, educators and students from The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction. Example sharing activities included property and facilities management advice and services, energy management, sustainable and circular economy expertise, heritage issues, ‘social value’ metrics and building management resources/case studies.
This community-university partnership was seed-funded through the UCL Culture Trellis Programme. It aims were to:
1) Provide an online framework for knowledge and service exchange, by building and sharing participant profiles through appropriate matching mechanisms;
2) Increase knowledge sharing and networking between East London community groups, CSOs and UCL academics, researchers and students;
3) Build longer term relationships between East London community groups, CSOs and UCL built environment personnel, in support of developing further rich and equal collaborations;
4) Enable community individuals and groups to better manage their community buildings and spaces for both resource-effectiveness and social good.
The project was affected by COVID-19, which reduced people’s availability to engage; but also richly informed by the large number of local mutual online networks that sprung up to support collective sharing in response to the pandemic.
The final output was a prototype website (based on web 3.00 technology) that offers an example of an innovative kind of ‘dating app’ – where people are matched through their online profiles - for enabling mutual aid between university and community individuals and groups, through sharing expertise and resources.