Thursday, 25 October 2012

Stakeholder Workshops

On Monday, 22 October the Centre for the Built Environment and Health, and Gaia Resources hosted a targeted workshop with stakeholders interested in using the POS Tool for research purposes. The workshop’s aim was twofold: demonstrate the beta version of our web based POS Tool and discuss proposed functions to include in the second phase of software development. The workshop was held at the University of Western Australia and included researchers from the School of Population Health, The School of Earth and Environment, The School of Primary, Aboriginal and Rural Health Care, and The Planning and Transport Research Centre.
Participants were first provided with an overview of the project and POS data followed by a demonstration of the POS Tool (beta version) and examples of the proposed data interrogation and integration functions in the second phase of the Tool’s development. After the presentation, a Q and A session was followed by a broad discussion of researcher needs and desired functionality prompted by the examples mentioned above.
Current functions of the POS TOOL (phase 1) presented were:
1.    Search by address, park name and suburb

2.    Query of POS amenity for a park

3.    Statistics concerning the distribution of POS and POS amenity in each Suburb/LGA

4.    The ability to combine and download data concerning POS distribution and amenity, and population characteristics for each Suburb/LGA.    

Examples of advanced functions for phase 2:
1.   Calculating distances between user defined points and POS. User could upload a spreadsheet with Latitude and Longitude coordinates which would then be used to calculate the distance from each point to surrounding parks. Output information could then be exported for analysis.

2.   Calculate POS statistics for a user defined area. Users could upload their own polygon boundaries for which statistics on POS amenity and population characteristics would be calculated. Output information could then be exported for analysis.

3.   Calculate POS statistics for buffered points. User could upload a spreadsheet with Latitude and Longitude coordinates which would be buffered (user specified distance). Statistics on POS amenity and population characteristics would be calculated for each buffer as well as the distance from each buffered point to surrounding parks.

An overview of some of questions and answers are as follows:
Q: How does tool deal with POS that have mixed uses (i.e. a single POS area that has a park and natural areas)?
A: Currently, an area classified as a park adjacent to a natural area is stored and analysed as a separate entity. We felt that it was easier to aggregate than disaggregate. 
Q: How are population catchment statistics calculated?
A: We currently identify areas within a 5 minute walk of each park using a network buffer approach. Then, we intersect the buffer with the surrounding Census Collection Districts (CCD). The population of a CCD that intersects our 5 minute walk buffer is weighted by the percentage of the CCD’s area which falls within the buffer. We then sum the weighted population of all CCDs which intersect the 5 minute walk buffer.  
Q: Are there any provisions for updating the data currently in the system.
A: Not currently, but we do recognise this as an issue. We are focusing on getting the system build and hope that the user base will help influence how we address longevity. One possibility for data updates is through the
State Land Information Capture Program (SLICP)
Q: Is horse riding facilities included in the attributes? This has actually been quite an issue in terms of the environmental management of POS on the urban fringe.
A: We do not currently collect information on the use of POS for horseback riding.
Q: Are beaches included?
A: Beaches themselves are not included but POS adjacent to a beach is included.
Q: Are hard-scapes included?
A: No, we have focused on green POS.

Summary of researcher comments concerning desired functions or additional data for inclusion in phase 2:
·        Importation of own polygon boundaries for which POS statistics are calculated
·        Catchment statistics should include age group
·        Ability to download outputs for linking with additional data
·        Selection by park attributes on main search page
·        Ability to add and remove parks and recalculate statistics
·        Attribution identifying when a park was developed
·        Quality score
·        Additional data layers: footpaths, bicycle networks, transport stops, transport routes, SEIFA scores
o   these might all be data people could bring to the system and get the system to return values in relation to parks

In conclusion, the group provided a very positive response to the POS Tool. Many of their suggestions for phase 2 provide confirmation to the POS team’s thoughts for more advanced functions. We would like to thank all the participants for thoughtful suggestions and comments, and kind words of encouragement.    

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