Interactive debate with participants on location and remotely

Going hybrid

What if you as municipality want to organize an interactive debate night with local residents, but covid-19 restrictions prevent you from receiving them in town hall? That was the challenge Meierijstad municipality was faced with when they wanted to involve residents in discussions on the future of the market square. Landscape architects tlu and urban planners Spacevalue recommended using QANDR Hybrid. This is a new incarnation of QANDR that allows participants to join both remotely and on location, without the need for a separate video conferencing system.

Challenge:
Engage people both physically and remotely in an evening of debate

Method:
Use QANDR Hybrid to stream the presentation screen to remote participants

Number of participants:
In addition to participants in council chamber, also 25 remote participants

For Meierijstad particularly the latter was crucial. Their existing streaming solution causes delays of 20-40 seconds, that fluctuate per participant as well, which makes a proper interaction in the group next to impossible. QANDR Hybrid can be deployed standalone, offering a low-latency stream of the central screen, directly from the QANDR dashboard, that can be viewed remotely on any internet-enabled computer.

Meierijstad municipality was game enough to premiere QANDR Hybrid (yes, after lots of testing this was the first time in a production environment) and their trust in us proved to be justified. QANDR Hybrid ensured that also QANDR’s unique pointer module, where participants use their phones to move dots on the central screen to indicate their point of view, smoothly and intuitively. An added advantage was that joining the session was extremely simple and did not require software installs.

Dilemma: “Car traffic makes the Market: lively or unpleasant?’ left: Lively, right: Unpleasant

In the course of the evening several different QANDR modules were used, such as the poll to obtain a global profile of participants, de pointer to indicate residents’ dreams, the wordcloud to determine what in the market square needs to be preserved and the dilemma to gauge opinions on car traffic and type of street paving. Check all visuals of the debate night, directly generated from Meijerijstad’s QANDR archive.

Wordcloud: ‘What parts of the Market would you like to preserve? Type the first thing that comes to mind. you can enter multiple words.’ The larger words have been ‘upvoted’, i.e. emphasized by others by clicking them.

Bureau Spacevalue, that endeavors to provides residents with direct influence on the development of their own living environment, was in this project responsible for the interaction with the public. Because they brought QANDR Hybrid to the table, Meierijstad municipality was able to visualize residents’ opinions on a large screen in council chambers, as a starting point for the debate night. In spite of that fact that not everyone could be physically present, residents were able to join from the comfort of their own homes via the streaming facility of QANDR Hybrid. Their laptops or desktops displayed the main screen, a copy of of the large screen on location, and they used their phones to give their opinions, in conjunction with the other participants. A very cool development, we feel. We are happy to be able to offer this solution to our customers, a solution that we expect to become more and more common in ‘the new normal’.

Both municipalities and consulting firms use QANDR to engage citizens and experts in spatial planning challenges. Read more about this on our page about citizen participation.