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Public Map Platform for Future Generations

The Public Map Platform is a two year research project to make places in the UK better for the people who live and work there.


The vision of the Public Map Platform (PMP), a Future Observatory Green Transition Ecosystem project funded in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, is to change the way that planning happens in local authorities across the UK by involving communities in the mapping of their area.

Typically, only 1% of the community will have any say on planning issues in their area because the mechanisms are difficult to engage with and very boring in their current state.


Focusing initially on the Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Môn) in north Wales, the project will focus on collecting environmental, social and cultural data with local children, young people and their families.

This data might include recorded sounds, drawings, smells encountered on climate walks, visual records of seasonal blooms and local oral traditions that will mix with more orthodox data (temperature readings and population demographics) to create a layered “data sandwich” of Anglesey.

The layers of data gathered over the project lifespan will result in an exemplar public map, to be designed so people can make sense of the data about their area and might further involve themselves in local planning decisions.


The design of the Public Map Platform is very much rooted in Wales – in its people, places, and policy and legislative landscape. The projects aim is to:

  • involve children and young people in decision-making about their places.
  • support the development of a planning system based on maps and data made with communities so decisions are made on a range of evidence.
  • develop trustworthy and intelligible social, environmental, cultural, and economic maps that reveal inequality and chart progress towards more sustainable and resilient places.
  • support local authorities in moving towards a digital data map-based planning system.
  • radically improve the way community consultation on planning is done across the UK.


The full leadership and co-investigation team can be viewed on the Public Map Platform website.


This research was made possible through the support of the following organisations: