New digital tool simplifies community engagement to fast track infrastructure

03 November 2020

As part of our commitment to helping communities thrive, WSP has created a new digital tool that embeds a community-centric approach into the development of infrastructure projects.

Aptly named the Online Community Portal, the WSP proprietary tool helps project shapers to engage with the community in a more contemporary way. It transforms technical information into a visually engaging and easy to understand format.

Importantly, because of its digital nature, projects can be brought to life sooner through improved engagement and a better understanding of community needs enhancing business cases and design integration in addition to assisting with the environmental approval process.

It also addresses the costly impacts of infrastructure project delays and cancellations as a result of community opposition.

Improving Community Engagement is Critical to Project Success

The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit released by Infrastructure Australia revealed that AUD20 billion worth of projects had been delayed, cancelled or mothballed over the last decade.

Guy Templeton, President & CEO of WSP ANZ says, “From our research conducted jointly with the University of Technology Sydney last year (Setting Up Projects for Success), we learnt that if we can listen, engage and consult with the community more effectively and use technology to our benefit, we can help bring more projects to life in a shorter timeframe thereby reducing the impacts of delays and cancellations.

“This will help facilitate more projects entering a shovel ready phase, creating jobs and supporting growth for the Australian economy.”

Realising Opportunities Within Planning and Delivery

Consultation and engagement are essential in developing infrastructure services such as transport networks, energy, water and telecommunications systems as well as social infrastructure including health, education, public administration, housing and justice facilities – that meet the needs of the community. The Online Community Portal simplifies and reorients information around what matters most to the community – the impacts of that infrastructure or associated construction on the assets closest to their homes.

Mr. Templeton says, “With this tool, we can put the community’s needs at the very heart of infrastructure development to drive productivity, improve sustainability, optimise planning and design and better utilise data to create a more efficient service.

“We’re excited to be bringing the Online Community Portal to the market for the benefit our clients and the communities in which we work, live and play, through a tool which provides clear lines of communication via digital engagement with transparency and openness.”

Optimising our Services for Community Benefit

By combining our environmental planning and stakeholder engagement services, the Online Community Portal offers a centrally optimised platform that houses all project information including feedback forms, interactive maps, a virtual consultation room, rich media and technical data including impact assessments.

Significantly, for the community the Online Community Portal provides greater accessibility to information throughout the lifecycle of the project.

Key features include:

“In today’s health and economic climate, digital innovations will pave the way for how economies around the world recover,” says Mr. Templeton.

“The Online Community Portal helps build community trust through meaningful and inclusive engagement. It also makes it easier to develop a targeted approach to delivering infrastructure, and to explain the trade-offs that are inevitable in infrastructure decisions.”

Click here to read our opinion piece on how Australia’s shovel ready projects can benefit from WSP’s Online Community Portal following the Federal Government’s Infrastructure stimulus announcements in the recent budget,

Click below to find out more about the WSP Online Community Portal, request a demo, or get in contact with one of experts,




Source:  WSP -

Date of Original:  08 October 2020


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