Development.i, Sunshine Coast Council’s revolutionary development tracking and visualisation platform, won the Improving Planning Processes and Practices award at the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) National Awards for Planning Excellence, held virtually on Thursday September 24, 2020.
Council launched the in-house developed platform in October 2018, where it quickly set the new Australian benchmark for accessing development information, empowering communities to be informed about development and engaging them in the planning process.
Development.i continues to go from strength to strength with the number of users increasing each year, demonstrating our community’s desire to stay informed on developments proposed in their neighbourhood.
Service Excellence Portfolio Councillor Christian Dickson said it was humbling to be recognised nationally, as a local government, for improving planning processes and practises.
“Enabling communities to be engaged and informed is at the heart of contemporary urban planning and I hope that we have navigated a pathway for others to follow with confidence’,” Cr Dickson said.
“By law, local and state governments are required to provide development application information to the public – but unfortunately, many of these systems are difficult to use and do not meet community and industry expectations.
“Development.i is as easy to navigate and enables anyone to search and track development activity, and features visualisation, advanced searching and the ability to subscribe to receive email notifications – plus lots more.”
Council’s Group Executive Customer Engagement and Planning Services James Ruprai said the engagement statistics from the platform showed the product was meeting its objectives for a more empowered community on development matters.
“In the last financial year, Development.i was used more than 246,000 times – an increase of six per cent on the previous year,” Mr Ruprai said.
“More than 3,000 email alerts are now sent out each month and growing – that is a 57 per cent increase in the number of alerts sent out in last 12 months.
“Users can subscribe to daily or weekly alerts on new and decided applications or updates on an application’s progress.
“More than 229,000 free Development.i site reports were generated over the past 12 months. That’s over 4,200 reports a week and an increase of 23 per cent compared to the last financial year.
“There are also thousands of public documents at our community’s fingertips with more than 318,000 documents available on Development.i to review.”
Development.i has been made possible with $150,000 funding from the Queensland Government’s Innovation and Improvement Fund.
To access Development.i visit https://developmenti.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/