Reflection on three decades using computing at JMU, to teach survey techniques to planners, with application to community research projects, reveals that each computing “learningi threshold/milestone enabled each protagonist (research lecturer, planning student, professional and community-stakeholder),ito learni more broadly. This facilitated more sensitive data-gathering-so empowering respondent/residents with more control to define data to influence urban policy. The seventies'mechanical processing and limited computing experience restricted data quality/depth. Hand-processing'edge punch cards'recorded enriched variety and depth. Learning computing from Maths lecturers enabled students to learn to control SPSS program and data files. Maths lecturers'withdrawal necessitated the authors'learning, which brought control of the whole process, so facilitating informal inductive interviews-more open to respondents'control over topics to be discussed. Planners learning 3DCAAD-modelling, learned to conceptualise spatially. Community members used CAAD with greater ease, possibly through greater Internet and games experience. Free, EU-funded, private, government, and so on training schemes for Merseysiders, may enfranchise them to define and submit their own demands regarding urban regeneration, directly, through new technological channels (opened by Local Authorities). And new partnering, with private, public and developer agencies may drive these initiatives home.