Priority 2.1 – Collaboration
SPACEial North West Project
Project: SPACEial North West Project
Lead Council: Donegal County Council
Partners:North West Region Cross Border Group (Lead Partner), Donegal County Council (Lead Council), Derry City Council, Limavady Borough Council, Magherafelt District Council & Strabane District Council
Timeframe: 05 September 2013 to 28 February 2014
The SPACEial NW project aims to systematically track changes in population patterns by examining the NW region from 2000 to 2010. The project will display information through an online tool which will allow users to search for and compare information on 34 different towns. Users will be able to find out and compare information on population, health services, community services and businesses across and within the project towns and region.
The purpose of this project has been to develop a model that will assist and inform the strategic planning and development of the North West Cross Border region, ensuring the long term sustainability of its communities. Prior to the project there was a gap in terms of comparable data across the border which created difficulties for those in decision making roles within Government, agencies and Local Authority. Data was collected differently in the two jurisdictions and as such difficulties arose when trying to make rational arguments for delivery of services and programmes. The project will help avoid “back to back” planning and enable a collaborative approach to decision making and shared service provision.
One of the key objectives of the project is to disseminate and display the information gathered on an interactive and easily accessed website and map viewer system, for both technical and non technical users throughout the region and beyond.
To facilitate this, a series of training sessions on how to use the system were held in Derry, Donegal and Strabane for elected members, officers and key policy decision makers in the region. The sessions demonstrated how a combination of statistics, remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems technologies have been used to put information into the hands of the general public, the planner and the decision maker.
A Project Findings Paper has also been developed which examines such topics as population, housing and settlement change, for example how rural housing policy has impacted on development and growth in rural areas. A Project Findings Mapping Atlas has been developed. This provides hard copies of published maps for each of the project modules. It is widely available and will help schools and others who need readymade maps to illustrate data findings or develop map reading skills.
Through the range of data and comparable information gathered, this project will assist with a more evidenced based spatial planning, policymaking and service delivery approach in the North West Region Cross Border area, allowing decision makers to make informed decisions about growth at a regional rather than county/administrative boundary level.
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