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First IMAGINE public engagement event in Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes Council held the first public engagement event as part of the IMAGINE project on 20th November 2012. It was held to gauge public understanding and perception of energy issues and what this may mean for the city in 2050. Over 30 attendees were drawn from a variety of local stakeholders including designers, academics, politicians, members of the Youth Cabinet and other organisations.

Professional facilitators ran the event to show the independence of the consultation from council influence. The format was to encourage ideas and discussion amongst the stakeholders and a “sit back and listen” event for the local IMAGINE team.

The event was held in the City’s Council chamber with an opening presentation of images and music to introduce the topic. This was followed by two sessions, each asking two questions, introduced by expert presentations on the topics to be discussed.

These topics and related questions were:

  • Energy: What will Milton Keynes be like in 2050?
  • Transport: How can we develop ways of delivering both a zero carbon city and a better transport system than today?
  • Green City: Milton Keynes already has a good combination of location and infrastructure to be a Green City. How can we maximise this?
  • Telecoms: What do you think Milton Keynes needs in terms of an effective telecoms infrastructure by 2050.

Participants were arranged in five groups around tables to discuss the issues and asked to write down their ideas. After half an hour, each group presented their ideas to everyone. Imagination was encouraged and there were no limits to ideas. The members of the Youth Cabinet were particularly imaginative and came up with many ideas (both practical and not so practical!).

The final stage of the event was to ask those present how they thought the ideas they put forward could be developed by Milton Keynes Council using a ‘sticky dot’ technique. All the ideas collected were placed on themed boards representing areas of action for creating a map towards a Zero Carbon city. Each participant was issued with three sticky dots and could place these on a board with the collected ideas of all groups. More dots in the idea areas represent a higher priority for the Imagine team.

This was a lively event, with enthusiastic participation by all present. The ideas created at the event were captured by a photo report of the event. These ideas will be used by the MK IMAGINE team to produce a first draft MK2050 roadmap for presentation to the next stakeholder event in 2013.

Information provided by Milton Keynes Council.

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