Mapping the Future of Housing

What it was all about

Yesterday, a couple of us went along to Cadcorp's housing management conference, "Mapping the Future of Housing" in Manchester. Hosted by Fergus Craig and Simon Parker, the event showcased Cadcorp's geographic information system and how it could be used to great effect by housing associations in managing their property portfolios.  The day culminated in an exciting whistle-stop tour of the functionality of Cadcorp's GIS.

In the morning, a case study was presented by Paul Wake of Wakefield and District Housing, giving first-hand experience of the challenges and benefits of implementing a corporate GIS. This was followed by our own Rob Carling who presented some salutary flood statistics and the impact of floods on people as well as property. Rob also spoke about JBA's flood data and the importance of developing a flood plan when managing housing portfolios - especially given the likely increase in the frequency and severity of flood events.

Next up was an informative presentation by Lee Williams of emapsite, called "The A to Z of data for housing – the complete process".

Unexpected bonuses

The event was held at 'The Studio' in 'The Hive' on Lever Street. If anyone is looking for a venue in Manchester, we liked it a lot. Funky and airy with very helpful, cheerful staff throughout. Even the usual static male and female icons that indicate the appropriate toilet facilities were replaced by seriously uncomfortable cross-legged ladies and gents. Colour was ever-present but never to the detriment of the light, white atmosphere of the place. Lunch (which was excellent - hot and cold, two courses) might be described as a buffet on a pouffe or a buffet on a tuffet - depending on your pronunciation. At any rate, the seating was a talking point - and surprisingly comfortable!

General conclusion

The event was a great opportunity for housing associations to meet, discuss and consider the benefits of a GIS and their respective portfolio management policies over the coming years.  We were certainly happy to have been a part of it.

We're now looking forward to tomorrow - a repeat of the event but this time in London.