Involving your community
The place maker's fundamental role is to engage and connect local residents; involving them in planning for their community development as early as possible. Early engagement of new residents is about facilitating networks and a participatory culture where residents are empowered to share their views, make decisions and shape their communities. The objectives of engagement are described below and examples are provided in the best practice guide.
Understanding both community needs and aspirations
Understanding needs and aspirations is essential both in the planning stage and for the area's long term success.
Your successful planning responses will depend on understanding what attracted residents to the area, what they like about it, what their service and facility needs are, what their interests are, how they build social networks and how they access what they need.
Facilitating social connections
Residents in a new community are often significantly impacted by the pressures of change. Early movers will be affected by these changes over a longer period as the community settles in around them.
Providing opportunities for all members of a new community to socially connect and network – both short and long term – is essential to promote feelings of inclusion and connectedness.
Participating in decision-making
Social sustainability develops when communities work together to achieve common objectives. The spirit which arises from shared challenges and experiences causes people to feel a part of the community and is an essential element of getting things done.
Developing decision-making processes that enable broad community input ensures that decisions will meet a broader range of needs, making them significantly more sustainable.
Stewardship is the process of the community managing its own assets over time. Stewardship creates connection to an area and thus supports the development of a new area's identity. It promotes ownership of local outcomes and builds community cohesion.
The fabric of daily life
Sustainable planning is more than developing the services and facilities for a community. The goal is to enhance the daily lives of families and individuals.
Enabling access, providing information, identifying barriers, building capacity to participate and ensuring service providers understand and fill service gaps is essential to connecting people to the services in a new area.
Providing communities with the appropriate tools to connect with those services in an ongoing manner (such as internet, networks or media) is an important consideration.