The Growth Areas Social Planning Tool outlines a process of social practice that aims to contribute to the Victorian Community Wellbeing Framework goal of creating communities that are:
- Healthy, safe and inclusive
- Culturally rich and vibrant
- Dynamic resilient local economies
- Sustainable built and natural environments
- Democratic and engaged with active citizens that participate in decision-making.
Active citizenship is the cornerstone of community wellbeing. Evidence shows (PDF, 917KB) that community participation and strong networks:
Generate positive social practices including the spread of information and innovation, inclusive attitudes and respect, limiting of negative behaviours, feelings of safety and collective efficacy.
Strengthen community planning and the equitable distribution of community resources.
Increase individual and family wellbeing including health, psychological wellbeing, positive parenting, child development, positive ageing, education and employment outcomes.
Creating new communities requires a far more complex–and sometimes messy–process than designing the physical infrastructure alone, but the results will ultimately be much more rewarding and effective.