STREAMLINE is a bespoke scientific interview format that enables and stimulates public participation in landscape scale policy planning and research. STREAMLINE consists of a set of colourful, laminated A3 canvasses that invite participants (in either an individual or group setting) to step into the future and set out their vision on a particular topic through a series of questions and graphic tiles.
Taking user experience as a starting point, STREAMLINE's open and interactive format provides an engaging platform where people can express not only what they want or think, but also why they feel that way, providing rich data and insight into the motivations behind their answers. Responses are captured in a database, coded for themes and clustered into a set of visions. These form the input for a ‘social SWOT’ identifying Common Grounds, Tensions, Opportunities and Threats, in other words: sources of conflict and potential for collaborations in the landscape between the vision groups. Finally, the outcomes are presented back to the target audience.
The format can be used with a variety of stakeholders in semi-structured interviews, or in group settings like workshops or focus groups. Current uses focus on its potential as a research tool, but participant feedback indicates it is just as valuable in enabling community engagement/public participation in landscape management and governance. Visually stimulating materials help to engage participants, enhance creativity and ‘out of the box’-thinking.
The session will include examples of the format and results of its application in the OPERAs Scotland Exemplar, in particular the Edinburgh Shoreline study that took place from March to June 2017. In this study, we worked closely with local stakeholder and community groups to tailor the method to the urban coastal landscape. We will present a set of visions that emerged from group interviews with participants from 7 coastal neighbourhoods in Edinburgh and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the method for landscape management.
STREAMLINE, including graphics, canvasses and a user guide is available under a Creative Commons license (release date: Spring 2017) so that anyone can use it for public engagement and research applications. For more information: www.streamline-research.com.