We’re thrilled to announce that we have been named as a finalist in the 2022 Construction Marketing Awards, with Shape, our flagship online engagement platform, being shortlisted in the ‘best use of a website’ category.

What is Shape?

At Kanda, we research, design, and develop best-in-class online tools for engaging communities.

We know that reaching people is the single greatest challenge developers face when setting out to engage communities.

That’s why we developed Shape, Kanda’s flagship online engagement platform. Built on our expertise in delivering best-practice community engagement, Shape is designed to engage and re-engage local communities in constructive dialogues about local development proposals.

To date, Kanda has deployed over 15+ Shape platforms, each focusing on a different project across London, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire, with many more in the pipeline. Every day, thousands of local stakeholders are accessing information and the opportunity to feedback on development proposals supported by Shape.

Through Shape, local communities have access to:
• An accessible and responsive user interface, designed to be in-keeping with a project’s brand.
• Project updates posted often, with local stakeholders notified via e-newsletters, social media, and postal correspondence to maximise inclusivity.
• Engaging opportunities to feedback:
• Concise surveys and polls for frequent insights into how your local community is responding to your development proposals
• Interactive maps of the local area and drawings of development proposals, capturing insightful spatial data
• A tool to help your local community draft letters of support that can be sent directly to project decision-makers (e.g., planning case officer, if a planning application is being submitted)
• Promoting and reporting on all engagement activities (both on and offline) – becoming a hub of public information for your project.
• A high standard of data protection protecting your local community.
• Shape is supported by Kanda’s expertise in community and political engagement consultancy, content creation, and data analytics.

By using Shape, developers will:
• Meet statutory planning requirements and the growing expectations of communities.
• Capture accurate engagement rates, local insight and detailed community feedback on projects in real-time.
• Build support with local stakeholders (community and political), improving the likelihood of a planning application being approved.
• Add measurable social value through meaningful community engagement.
• Enhance their reputation locally and further afield.

Shape for Minerva House, Southwark

Shape X London Square

Kanda was appointed by London Square to engage their local community on plans for the development of three Council-owned sites neighbouring Lea Bridge Station in Waltham Forest.

To maximise access to local stakeholders, Kanda delivered an online-led community engagement programme, driven by the Shape platform.

Through Shape, we posted frequent updates on the design ideas for the three development sites as they developed, creating ample opportunity for stakeholders to feedback on the idea and to share their own with engaging polls and surveys. This activity was supported by in-person events (public exhibitions, stakeholder briefings, and canvassing), to maximise inclusivity of our engagement programme.

In our initial stage of engagement with the local community, lasting 2 months, over 3,500 local stakeholders interacted with the Shape platform (many on more than one occasion); amassed c.1,250 responses to the polls and surveys hosted on Shape; and developed a c.500-person strong mailing list who receive frequent e-newsletter updates on the project.

Shape for Lea Bridge Station Sites, Waltham Forest

Shape X London Borough of Redbridge

Kanda was appointed by the London Borough of Redbridge to engage local communities in the Western Gateway project, a key piece in Redbridge’s vision for the future of Ilford Town Centre, and the Spark Lab, a ‘meanwhile’ strategy for the Town Centre.

The Western Gateway

Working closely with Karakusevic Carson Architects (KCA), Kanda engaged local communities in early ideas for the Western Gateway. Through an online-led community engagement programme, driven by the Shape platform, we facilitated dialogues on themes of local history and aspirations for development including improving local biodiversity and access to nature, enhancing the Ilford townscape, and creating new social infrastructure.
This initial stage of community engagement concluded in the drafting of a ‘Spatial Framework’ for the Western Gateway, one that will inform a future planning application.

The Spark Lab

Kanda have supported Jan Kattein Architects (JKA) in proposing a ‘meanwhile’ strategy and uses for Ilford Town Centre, informed by engagement with local communities.
Through the Shape platform, we focused local minds on ideas for small-scale interventions and initiatives that could make a positive social impact in the short term.

Through our online engagement, we identified local needs and wants to ensure that the interventions/initiatives directly responded to these, and tested ideas with local people as they developed, with regular updates on the project and opportunities to feedback.

Informed by our community engagement, JKA fabricated ‘The Spark Lab’, taking up the ground floor of a vacant department store to provide incubation space for local cultural organisations and local businesses with a public purpose wanting to trial a high street presence. Modular furniture, lighting and adaptable displays can be deployed in multiple configurations to suit a range of uses.

JKA have also fabricated ‘Wilderness Street’, a temporary living urban landscape on Oakfield Road, identified as a key ‘artery’ that connects Ilford’s existing cultural venues and the high street.

Today, local communities are enjoying the residencies and community events being held at the Spark Lab and Wilderness Street. The positive social impact of the Spark Lab and Wilderness has been recognised, having been shortlisted in the Community, Meanwhile, and Wellbeing categories in the 2022 NLA New London Awards.

Shape for The Western Gateway, Redbridge

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