The importance of placemaking
It is well established through literature and experience that creating social connections and facilitating community networks, particularly in new communities, requires dedicated place maker staff whose role it is to:
- help people settle into the new community
- provide opportunities for residents to meet and become involved in community life
- support the development of community groups and networks
- identify local community needs, aspirations and strengths
- introduce residents to local services and programs
- connect residents to decision-makers
- undertake or brokers the delivery of community building activities.
Examples of how place makers are being introduced are provided in the best practice guides.
In places that may have up to 50,000 new residents, community building needs to be a long-term process and it requires appropriate resources. In planning your responses, resources should be allocated for:
- Staff to undertake the place maker role
- A space from which the place makers can operate
- The authority and the budget to allow the place makers to facilitate and broker community building activities.
A number of growth area councils in Victoria are moving towards a model where a place maker role is embedded into new communities. Currently, there are no general benchmarks used to determine the place maker role, however below is an example suggested by the City of Whittlesea for a community of 45,000–50,000 people.
|Level of service||Timing|
|0.4 Equivalent Full Time (EFT)||ASAP to prepare for the new community and work on establishing the community|
|An additional 0.6 EFT, taking the total to 1 EFT||Once the sales offices open|
|An additional 0.4EFT for the place maker role, taking it to 1.4 EFT and 1 EFT facility coordinator||6 months prior to community facilities opening|