Fingal’s 3D modelling approach takes out top prize at Excellence in Local Government Awards

Fingal County Council proudly took home the Communications category award at this year’s Excellence in Local Government Awards. The Council’s Digital Services Department was applauded for its pioneering use of 3D Models & VR experiences in enhancing Planning Consultations.

Among a strong field of finalists in the category, Fingal’s innovative approach in engaging the public through cutting-edge technology came out on top, marking a significant achievement for the Council.

The initiative involves the creation of 3D renderings of Swords and Balbriggan, offering a remarkable tool for effective communication on public building and realm projects. The model and virtual experiences were created by 3D modelling company, Realsim. By utilising VR experiences and digital twins of towns, the Council empowers the public to visualise and explore proposed developments, bridging the gap between architectural plans and public comprehension.

Fingal County Council’s endeavour to pilot digital twins for public consultation marks a pioneering step in showcasing forthcoming public realm projects like the ‘Swords Cultural Quarter’ and ‘Balbriggan Quay Street Harbour Rejuvenation’. Their online interactive digital twin/3D web viewer sets a precedent, offering an immersive glimpse into the envisioned future of these towns.

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Adrian Henchy, expressed his delight, stating, “This award is a testament to the dedication and innovation of our Digital Services team. It’s an honour to receive this award and stand alongside other commendable initiatives recognised at the ceremony. I would like to extend my congratulations to all participants and winners. Your contributions underscore the collective commitment to excellence in local governance.”

AnnMarie Farrelly, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council said, “This award acknowledges our commitment to fostering transparent and inclusive engagement with our communities. Our use of 3D models and VR experiences revolutionises how we communicate complex development plans, empowering residents to contribute meaningfully to the evolution of their towns.”

Additionally, Fingal County Council encourages public engagement with these pioneering initiatives. VR headsets are available at Swords, Malahide, Donabate, Blanchardstown, and Balbriggan Libraries. Individuals interested in experiencing the 3D tour of the Swords and Balbriggan developments are encouraged to speak to one of our VR Champions on site. They will guide you through the immersive virtual reality experience, providing insight into the exciting new projects shaping the future of our communities.

The Excellence in Local Government Awards, sponsored by the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage, celebrates the outstanding contributions of Local Authorities across Ireland. Fingal County Council showcased four initiatives, demonstrating their commitment to excellence in various realms, from heritage restoration to community support.