• When you read a planning application, do you understand the technical detail? Can you find the relevant information? Do you know how ‘reserved matters’ can effect the look and feel of housing development? Is the consultation process clear to you? Do you feel you have a voice?
• When you see traffic works, do you want to know how long the road will be closed, or what they’re doing and why?
• Worried about traffic speed on your street, or air pollution?
• Wonder why the bus routes are being changed or if there are any plans for extra trains?

The local planning system is a maze of information: using specific technical language, referring to detailed planning protocols, documents referring to documents within other documents, some of which are no longer available or have been updated and are filed in different places with broken links online.

The Collective Commons is a library of information commissioned by communities and accessible to all their residents: we ask you what you want to know, research the detail of local and national policies relating to your area, working in tandem to bring the community’s local knowledge together with the data to create a free, neighbourhood knowledge resource.

Creating a systems view of place-based information: inspired by social activism, building on the work of community organisations across the UK > here’s a link to the research:

HILARY COTTAM: RADICAL HELP > new ways of organising living and growing that have been developed with communities across Britain. “Audré Lorde famously tells us, ‘that [the] master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change’. In other words, if we want to make deep change in the world, not simply produce ideas, then we need to work in new ways with new questions, new tools, new voices”

Civic Square event, Birmingham: photo thanks to Samanthi Theminimulle