What is Future Bristol?
Future Bristol is an online environmental awareness and academic research project which aims to engage citizens in a discussion about Bristol’s potential future as a low carbon city.
The project, which runs from the website http://futurebristol.co.uk/, launched on 28 February and presents two potential futures for people to choose from, and provides information about the various options as a way to educate and enlighten Bristolians about the possible outcomes of their choices.
The two scenarios are the result of research carried out which asked local influencers, ‘what would you like Bristol to look like in 2050 if it was a low carbon city, and how do we make it happen?’
Within each scenario on the site, visitors click on different options to vote on which they would or would not like to see in the Bristol of 2050.
Future Bristol uses Dialogue App
Linked from the site is the Future Bristol Dialogue App instance, which features the same branding as the main site. Visitors access the Dialogue App via a ‘Your Ideas’ link in the main menu of the website, and from the ‘Have Your Say’ link within the various options in each scenario.
Future Bristol uses a free version of Dialogue App. As our global headquarters is in Bristol, we chose to sponsor the project, and provided free skinning of the Dialogue App so that the branding would tie into the main site (this would not normally be possible with a free Dialogue App).
Dialogue App allows Future Bristol’s visitors to add new ideas to the discussion, and comment on and rate others’ ideas, such as this one:
Future Bristol uses social media to promote their site
The project is being run by Dr Rose Bailey, who had great success using Dialogue App for her Bristol Green Capital project. Dr Bailey is a gifted researcher and has a solid understanding of how to engage the public in her work. For Future Bristol, she is using Twitter and Facebook to publicise the project and motivate people, not just to get involved but also to make ‘green’ changes in their own lives.
This light touch approach gently encourages people to get involved, and the tone of Dr Bailey’s writing is friendly and accessible.
Visitors can share the site on Facebook or Twitter by clicking on the sharing buttons throughout the site, and from within Dialogue App.
Future Bristol has been featured elsewhere online, including on The Ecologist Facebook page, The Institution of Environmental Sciences website, Bristol Culture and on the Smashing Awards Designs of the Week site.
Future Bristol are using illustrations from Andy Council, a well-known Bristol artist. This has worked to bring more people to the site as Andy’s fans visit the Future Bristol site to see his new, original work.