Happier, healthier cities using mapping tech

Bradford-based Yeme Tech has created a Community Data Platform to help planners and developers instantly identify social infrastructure, facilities and community spaces missing from neighbourhoods in the UK.  

Yeme Tech now aims to take this approach global after signing a partnership deal with Esri UK, which is part of the world’s largest provider of geographic information system (GIS) software Esri Inc.

Example of Community Data Platform (CDP) by Yeme Tech

Example of Community Data Platform, courtesy of Yeme Tech

Amir Hussain, CEO of Yeme Tech

Amir Hussain, CEO of Yeme Tech

Amir Hussain is founder and CEO of Yeme Tech, and also Deputy Chair of Housing Regeneration and Place at West Yorkshire Combined Authority. ‘It can be very complex and time-consuming to regenerate our towns and cities to adapt to meet the current and future needs and wants of their citizens,’ he says. 

‘What our Community Data Platform does is provide granular local detail in real-time to strip away the complexity and enable planners and developers to work with local communities to deliver successful urban planning which provides the facilities and social infrastructure that people need and want.’ 

This includes community resources such as green space, libraries, schools, shops and cultural assets. But it can also feature local events and stakeholders, and the activities of local groups. The result is a far more holistic view of the social as well as economic health of communities.  

The idea is that planners and developers can ensure that new property and social interventions deliver inclusive growth for marginalised and hard-to-reach community groups. It also helps to create more integrated and fulfilling places for everyone.   

Hussain and his team drew inspiration from the Bromley by Bow Centre in east London, founded by Andrew Mawson in 1984. This was the first integrated health centre in the UK, offering support to local businesses and the community, with an art gallery and events venue. Doctors could prescribe patients activities including art courses, community care or even an allotment. 

The success of this approach has been well documented. Projects based on similar lines are now being delivered nationally by Well North Enterprises.  

Lord Andrew Mawson OBE, says: ‘Supporting people, helping them to identify opportunities and empowering them to take up those opportunities is how the Bromley by Bow Centre works. Yeme Tech takes those principles and provides data insight to help planners and developers to identify opportunities which will transform our towns and cities and their inhabitants.  

‘Yeme Tech is pioneering a different way of doing things – informed by the work we have been doing over the past 40 years – by enabling cities to be planned for the benefit of people and developed in co-operation with communities based on the data insights of what the people actually need. 

‘One day all cities will be planned like this and we will wonder why the Community Data Platform did not exist sooner.’ 

Laura Dean, Esri Partner Network Manager, adds: ‘Esri UK is delighted that Yeme Tech has joined our Esri Partner Network. Making use of our suite of developer tools, ArcGIS Developers, the team has managed to represent community data in a clear and engaging manner, allowing users to achieve valuable new insights. We look forward to working closely with the Yeme Tech team moving forward.’ 

Esri UK’s customers already include the Environment Agency, Greater London Authority, HS2, the National Trust, Ordnance Survey, Sport England, Sustrans and more than 200 local authorities in England and Wales. 

In related news, almost 3,000 town, parish and community councils now subscribe to a mapping technology service. We spoke exclusively to Chris Mewse from Parish Online about how spatial mapping saves local councils time and money.


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