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Social Value in and from Digital Twins


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I have joined the Digital Twin Hub in hopes to tap into some of the leading minds in visioning the future of a digitally enabled, open and collaborative built environment. I see the Digital Twin agenda as  a means to push people and projects to think about their data as part of larger systems, that interconnect and learn from each other. But I come to this forum as someone who cannot claim to be leading on digital detail or technicality: instead, I bring the social side. 

I see the potential of Digital Twins to help us understand our built environment better, and in turn make better future decisions to serve society better. I have seen this in other blog posts as "People First". So the purpose of this post is to introduce my current project - which aims to not only use technical data to influence better social decisions, but to interweave social at

Better Places Social Value Toolkit Project: a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Stantec and University of Reading

The project proposes to develop an industry leading approach to spatially mapping social value and wider outcomes of strategic land development projects with the intention to influence value-based decision making as early as possible. We are now progressing the project and undertaking some market research in relation to social value. 

The two-year project (started Sept 2020) is being funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Innovate UK. The project will be conducted via a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Stantec and the University of Reading.  We received very positive feedback on our links with industry, the market need, and our proposition to create a unique toolkit proposition utilizing data analytics to spatially calculate social value outcomes. 
The University is contributing academic and research expertise. We are excited to be working with and to introduce Flora Samuel, who is the author of the recently published Social Value Toolkit for Architecture. I (Cara Mullholland) will be delivering the project with us and joined Stantec in September following completion of a PhD in “Social Value Management in Infrastructure Megaprojects”.

Our Stantec team is led by Jenny Hughes (Climate Change and Social Value Manager) and Keith Mitchell (Director, Community Development and Infrastructure with a history in transport planning). 

We hope that by linking in with those leading social value related work for digital projects in the built environment we are going to develop relationships that can lead to productive collaboration that increases the impact of all our work. We want to connect with the best practices of social value data collection, measuring and reporting to ensure our efforts can build together. 

We look forward to hearing from anyone who feels our work may align, or would be happy to talk to anyone who may want more information on what we are up to. 

Please see the press release here on our website for further information of the project award, and our current project page here.

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