PlaceChangers has been shortlisted for most innovative new product at the 2024 Housing Digital Awards.
The PlaceChangers platform is powered by an innovative geospatial engine which enables housing organisations to digitise project-related asset data and enrich their engagement projects with place-based open data and resident feedback. This enables owners to move projects ahead faster while prioritising needs and engaging tenants throughout the property planning process.
The PlaceChangers engagement platform has an industry-unique planning activity model encompassing key tasks that must be completed on most place-based projects, such as social housing or place-based regeneration initiatives. On PlaceChangers, housing providers can research places using open place data and in-built geospatial analytics; generate interactive 2/3D consultations for tenants using digital site models; and capture impact using established impact and review frameworks.
PlaceChangers complements traditional on-premise GIS and asset information software by integrating planning GIS layers with property-related asset information. This enables users to generate a digital presentation of their estate to develop new build projects or approach place-based regeneration initiatives.
Sebastian Weise, founder at PlaceChangers, noted:
This nomination means a lot to us. One of our core focus is and has been housing. It is an area we are extremely passionate about. With us, housing organisations can take a resident-centric approach in their planning process, which is key to unlock good quality homes on sites great layouts in the right places. On top of that, we have the challenge of decarbonising existing housing. Both are areas which PlaceChangers' tools excel in.
The inspiration for PlaceChangers was initially born out of a PhD project by Sebastian Weise, involving planners at Lancaster City Council collating responses to adapt plans and policy documents over a three year period. In 2016, Sebastian met Alex Moon, PlaceChangers’ co-fonder, when they both moved to Newcastle for different reasons.
In 2020, during the pandemic, they saw an opportunity to partner up on the business and go full time on the company, combining Sebastian Weise’s skills in digital planning and Alex Moon’s background in software engineering. They successfully won innovation funding from InnovateUk to tackle the disconnect of public health and planning for housing, expanding what was then an emerging prototype to consult on planning proposals, with a new place analysis component that can drive the review of new projects for public health.
Today the platform is used by most housing associations in the North East, including organisations such as believe housing and Karbon Homes, to help review areas, understand feedback on proposals for new housing, and help complete health impact reviews for their proposals.
2024 Housing Digital Innovation Awards are an annual awards arranged by HousingDigital_, the digital news platform for housing professionals in the UK.