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Placecheck goes online

Rob Cowan, Placecheck

Placecheck is a method of taking the first steps in deciding how to improve an area. It is being used successfully in the early stages of neighbourhood planning.

Most other ways of taking the first steps need to be led by someone experienced in a particular method. A Placecheck can be initiated by anyone, without much preparation. It can help put local people at the heart of making a better place to live and work.

A Placecheck can be carried out for a street (or part of one), a park, a neighbourhood, a town centre or any other place. The setting might be urban, suburban or a village.

Go walkabout

A Placecheck consists of one or more walkabouts, followed by discussion of the information and opinions they turn up, and some serious thinking about the next steps and who needs to be involved. Placecheck’s simple idea is that much of what needs to be known about a place can be seen and understood by looking at it, or is in the heads of the people who live, work or play there. Placecheck is the simplest, quickest way of finding out what the place and its people can tell us, and starting the process of making change happen.

Placecheck gets us asking three questions: • What do we like about this place? • What do we dislike about this place? • What do we need to work on?

The Placecheck web app

The new Placecheck web app allows you to carry out a Placecheck using a smart phone, tablet or computer, walking about the area or at home. This builds up a set of markers on an online map, and an online resource of information and opinion on the place, its strengths and weakness, and what needs to be done.

Go to (and register) to see an example.

It does not cost anything to set up the Placecheck web app for your area, and there is nothing to download. Just tell Rob Cowan ( where you would like your online map to open (a postcode or address), and you will be given a link. You can then share the link with anyone you want to take part in the Placecheck, on a walkabout or online at home.

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