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Opening up our community halls

Wednesday, 18th October

Brisbane City Council is committed to creating new lifestyle and leisure opportunities, with better facilities and venues for all ages to enjoy. A key outcome of Council’s Brisbane Access and Inclusion Plan 2012-2017 was significant investment in improving the accessibility of Council buildings, venues and facilities with a particular focus on infrastructure such as ramps, parking and accessible toilets. Prior to this, much of the information on venue accessibility improvements had not been documented and wasn’t easily available to the public.

A cross-Council project team set about reviewing and compiling all the information available on Council’s 19 community halls, while simultaneously auditing the accessibility improvements made to each of these facilities. The project team consulted widely as it sought to identify all and any additional facility information that would be of value to the public.

While initially led by two key deliverables, the project soon evolved to incorporate a third:

  1. Develop a master dataset on Council’s community halls to enable Council to better manage and maintain these Council assets.
  2. Make this new, comprehensive, master dataset publicly available on Council’s Open Data portal, for all Brisbane residents to access.
  3. Create an accessible, mobile optimised, online user experience to translate this dataset and allow potential hirers and hall users easy access to important facility information.

Once the data was available online, Council saw an opportunity to build a new online community halls experience with a map-based search interface and feature-based filters to best suit search, presentation and accessibility of the data.

Data

Benefits

The mix of flexible open source solutions such as Drupal, leaflet mapping library and JSON with open data has allowed Council to create an easy-to-use, accessible and mobile responsive entry level product for its community halls. The online community halls experience has additional phases of development planned, to add more accessibility information for each hall and eventually integrate online hall and facilities bookings. In the long-term Council aims to further leverage this approach across other accessible facilities, including libraries.

Further information