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‘Planning for Real’ in Canley

Staff and students from The University of Warwick have been working with Canley residents to help develop the neighbourhood.

Canley is one of our closest neighbourhood communities and home to many of our students and staff. Over 5000 people call Canley their home, of which c.1400 study at the university and c.150 work at the university. It isn’t hard to see that the university can have a massive impact in this area. Therefore, we are working with the people of Canley on the ‘Planning for Real’ process to devise an action plan for change in the community.

What is Planning for Real?

Planning for Real is a nationally-recognised community planning process which uses a 3D map of the area to gather suggestions and allows residents to:

  • Decide on changes they would like to see in the area
  • Identify priorities
  • Develop an action plan for change with local organisations

Gathering Suggestions

In July 2019, with the help of the University’s Community Engagement Team and student interns, children from Westwood Academy Community Heroes made a 3D map of Canley which is over 7m long! It details every road and building in Canley. This was taken to community events and locations across Canley during the summer and autumn of 2019. The Community Engagement Team joined local people at family days, community cafés and school gates to gather ideas on the local area from as many people as possible.

Students from Westwood Academy creating a 3D map of Canley

Suggestion cards were added to the 3D map such as 'more activities for young people here' or 'install CCTV here'. Blank cards also allowed new ideas to be added. People could place cards on the map to highlight where there are problems, which could then inspire someone else to suggest a solution.

650 people contributed over 1300 ideas!

Turning Suggestions into Actions

All of these ideas were then collated, presented and discussed at follow-up events with people from all over Canley. Members of the community have been sifting through all of the suggestions and prioritising them. People have been talking about all kinds of things, including crime and crossings, students and summer holiday schemes, litter and lighting, hate crimes and happy times, policing paths and play areas. Residents prioritised these suggestions into “high”, “medium” or “low” priority and “short”, “medium” or “long” term solutions.

From this sifting, an action plan is being developed to tackle issues raised using local citizens’ knowledge and local organisations’ expertise. The first planning session for this took place on Thursday 5th December at Canley Community Church and a second session will take place on 16th January. Following these planning sessions, a community-led action plan will be created.

Canley residents discuss the map at an event in Canley


The University is one partner involved in this project. Other partners are: Canley Community Centre, Canley Community Church, Mosaic Family Hub, St Stephen's Church, Canley Library, Canley Stakeholders Group, Westwood Academy Community Heroes, Accord Housing Planning for Real Unit, West Midlands Police and Coventry City Council. However, all suggestions and actions are led by the local residents and community leaders. This ensures that the Canley community have ownership of the process and outcomes from start to finish.

How can you get involved?

· If you live in Canley, your views are encouraged! Come along to the planning session on 16th January, 13:30-15:30 at Canley Community Church.

· Follow Planning for Real on Facebook and Twitter and promote this on your social media or by word of mouth.

· If you don’t live in Canley but would like to get involved, there may be opportunities to do so! Please email the Community Engagement Team at for more information.



Tue 07 Jan 2020, 15:34 | Tags: Events Projects Community Canley