• Improving public services through open data: public toilets

Bichard, Jo-Anne and Knight, Gail, 2012, Journal Article, Improving public services through open data: public toilets Municipal Engineer, 165 (ME3). pp. 157-165. ISSN 09650903

Abstract or Description:

Bichard’s work for the TACT3 project (Bichard REF Output 3) found that UK toilet provision is not centrally collated and no national map or database of toilets exists. In contrast, the UK government’s white paper Open Public Services (2011) emphasised its commitment to incorporating the use of Open Data in public services provision that could be tailored to community preferences, and therefore be more sustainable. Incorporating Open Data on public toilet provision, Bichard and Knight (RCA) developed The Great British Public Toilet Map (GBPTM). Whilst a number of other websites and applications map toilets by ‘crowd surfing’, GBPTM is entirely populated by Open Data, and not only uses the data as information for users, but informs members of the public that such information is available and accessible for their use.
This paper presents the development of the GBPTM, including inclusive design research and studies that compare accuracy of information directly provided by users with Open Data collected by local authorities. It suggests that, to meet the health and well-being of an ageing population, a sustainable and cost-effective solution must be found for ‘publicly accessible’ toilet provision, including opening up provision beyond that ‘for customers only’ and providing accurate information on current public provision. The paper highlights the barriers encountered in the production of Open Data by local authorities. A review of the paper in the journal Civil Engineering (May 2013) described the design of the GBPTM as a ‘simple and elegant solution’.
The development of a digital output and an understanding of digitally based research led to Bichard’s successful submission to an EPSRC Digital Economy sandpit, in which she developed an interdisciplinary project with the Universities of Newcastle, Bournemouth and the West of England. The project, Family Rituals 2.0, secured £750,000 in research funding with Bichard as co-investigator (2013–15).

Official URL: http://www.icevirtuallibrary.com/content/serial/mu...
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W240 Industrial/Product Design
Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W290 Design studies not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: Research Centres > Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1680/muen.12.00017
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2012 15:21
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 15:44
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1119
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