Community engagement is a major part of the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project, as they plan do everything possible to alert the public about disruptions and to inform and enthuse them about the engineering being carried out.
This was meant to be a year of face-to-face engagement activities, with a programme of lectures and hard-hat tours for adults, supported by education events for children of all ages. The first event was a tour and activities for nursery school children, the next was a lecture for adults, and so on, but lockdown meant only the very first activity happened.
They cancelled their plans, paused to take stock and reviewed what it is possible to do with limited technology, limited staff and a restriction on face-to-face interaction of any kind.
The result is an ongoing series of virtual tours, put together in PowerPoint and saved as video files, these short films provide photographs, diagrams and commentary to introduce the public to the activities taking place.
They’re not as in-depth as if they were taking people to the site, but where site tours would have been limited in terms of group size, these virtual tours have an unlimited audience. They have been very well received, with positive comments each time a new addition is added to the website and shared on social media.
The films have also become a great, timeless resource, which will in the long term be used to support our engineering education activities.
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