The City of Whittlesea and Mirvac Property Group are working together to build community cohesion at the Donnybrook development, Olivine, through piloting the social planning principles and tools in the Growth Areas Social Planning Tool. The vision of Olivine is to build a strong, self-sustaining community.
Olivine represents the first formal G.A.S.P.T. partnership entered into in Australia, between the City of Whittlesea and Mirvac.
Key elements of the Olivine partnership include a broad-based and representative governance structure, a commitment to the engagement of on-site place-makers and a structural appetite for program innovation. Our partnership work started more than a year in advance of breaking ground on site, enabling the planning of key assets to include voices who may not be represented in a traditional delivery model.
The initial expression of this partnership is in the design and delivery of Olivine Place, which is a unique space incorporating a social enterprise café, sales office, meeting rooms and a generous and flexible community space that will be made available to the broader catchment from Day 1.
The project is one of only five projects to be included in the Melbourne chapter of the “100 Resilient Cities” worldwide movement, in recognition of its groundbreaking approach to the development of resilient, sustainable new communities.
Importantly, this project has a commitment to the measurement and evaluation of its work and the community cohesion that will accrue, via a further partnership with the Institute of Future Environments at Queensland University of Technology.
The Olivine GASPT Pilot partnership aims to provide opportunity for each stakeholder group to meaningfully contribute to the planning and delivery of their community future.
The governance model contemplates a major stakeholder representative team at its heart, with a structural commitment to a broader community forum inclusive of direct resident input. This input will inform the central community decision-making processes. The project will also be afforded regular, scheduled access to the City of Whittlesea community planning secretariat. This represents a regular forum for feedback, guidance and support, with the intention of efficiently facilitating Council inter-departmental cooperation to fast-track delivery of the GASPT ambition.
Our model also recognizes the mutual service radial catchment that traverses municipal boundaries, and structurally accommodates the need for regular liaison with service delivery agencies elsewhere within that broader catchment. This may include schools, retail hubs, sporting facilities, places of worship and regional parks. Such recognition is at the heart of a place-based approach.
Olivine Place will be managed on the community’s behalf by its resident place-maker, prior to eventual handover to Council.
As the first GASPT project in Australia, Olivine represents a test-bed in exploring a better way forward in the development of resilient, functional communities. The landmark work being undertaken will guide and inform the subsequent delivery of GASPT-aligned projects across the fringes of Australia’s major cities.
Our process is dynamic and we recognize that mistakes will be made. However, we will be making those mistakes with our community, rather than remote from them. Importantly, we will also rejoice in the joys of community empowerment together.
The ultimate ambition is for the development of a functional, caring and resilient community that transitions effectively to timely self-determination and which embodies a sense of belonging for those that reside within.