Tools to help you plan design and deliver your community-led place-making project.

Establish a project group, if one doesn't already exist.

It’s important to involve a range of people in your project to ensure the process and outcome represents the whole community.

An enthusiastic and motivated group of people can inspire and rally the community to a cause, allocate and organise tasks and help realise a project.

Starting a new group from scratch takes time and energy. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Before you start, contact your local Community Development Advisor (CDA(external link)) for advice on existing community or project groups you can work with.
  • Be open and welcome everyone.
  • Look for those voices that aren’t being heard.
  • Draw on the skills, knowledge and resources of those around you.
  • Acknowledge and recognise the time and effort of volunteers.
  • Go where the energy is – the best result will come from supporting people's interests and passions.
  • Stay positive and be prepared to hit a few issues or problems along the way.

The following may assist:

Investment required

To establish a project group you will likely need to invest the following:

Time 1 to 4 weeks Varies depending on the issue and community commitment.
Cost $0 to $1000 Less expensive when using existing networks or social media. Increases if you have expenses such as printing flyers or providing catering at meetings.
Effort Moderate Varies depending on the project leader's and the community's capacity.

A neighbourhood skills audit can help form a better understanding of the knowledge and abilities of those within your community.

Gaining an understanding of the skills available can contribute to neighbours helping each other out and strengthen a community’s resilience.

Investment required

To complete a neighbourhood skills audit you will likely need to invest the following:

Time 1 to 4 weeks May take less time. The biggest time demand is getting people together.
Cost $0 to $1000 Depends on the method used. For example, Survey Monkey can be quick and efficient if well-worded.
Effort Moderate Varies depending on the scale of the neighbourhood and the ability of people to see their own strengths and build confidence.

The place game is a tool for evaluating any space(external link) that anyone can use.

An ideal activity for community workshops, it will help you to identify what is working in a space and what aspects could be improved upon, based on observations of how people are, or are not, using the space every day.

Investment required

To complete the place game, you will likely need to invest the following:

Time 0 to 7 days  The actual evaluation generally takes no longer than 30 minutes, followed by an analysis and discussion of the findings. Biggest time demand is getting people together.
Cost $0 to $100 Depending on any provision of transport and refreshments for those involved.
Effort Minimal to modorate May be Low to Medium, depending on the scale of the space, number of people involved, associated organisation and post-evaluation analysis.

SWOT analysis is a simple technique that can be used to help identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats related to your project and/or project site, usually presented in a two by two grid.

Your SWOT analysis should also ask how the strengths can be maximised, the weaknesses minimised or improved, the opportunities realised and the threats lessened or avoided.

Investment required

To complete a SWOT analysis, you will likely need to invest the following:

Time 1 to 4 weeks May be quick. Biggest time demand is getting people together.
Cost $0 to $100 May cost more if technical specialists are involved.
Effort Varies Less effort required if it only involves simple observation, brainstorming or information review. More effort required if technical specialists are involved.

A variety of policies and plans prepared by the Council and other agencies can have broader implications for how a neighbourhood will be shaped or how assets will be managed.

A check of them for relevance is recommended to provide an understanding of the context for your project.

With some assistance from your Community Development Advisor (CDA(external link)), the Council can help you understand how your project might be affected by existing Council policies and plans.

For example, if projects like yours are anticipated, they may provide information in support for any funding applications necessary. Examples of key policies and plans are:

Investment required

To check for existing strategic plans and statutory documents, you will likely need to invest the following:

Time  0 to 7 days May vary and take longer depending on the number of documents to check, who does so and their familiarity with the content.
Cost $0 to $100 Could have no cost if done voluntarily, as most documents are online.
Effort Moderate to significant Varies depending on the topic and skill set of the reviewer.

A good exercise for identifying potential place-making projects and building community.

An appreciative inquiry aims to identify the physical, social and/or other aspects of your community that are liked and disliked, potentially through brainstorming in focus groups.

The following may assist:

Investment required

To complete an appreciative inquiry, you will likely need to invest the following:

Time 

1 to 4 weeks

Varies depending on the number of opportunities provided to reach different groups within the community for input.

Cost

$0 to $1000

Varies and may be less depending on the number of opportunities provided to reach different groups within the community for input.

Effort

Moderate

Subject to maintaining people’s involvement.

Creating a map of community assets can be useful early in your planning, particularly when developing a community plan.

The map can record physical assets (e.g. parks), economic assets (e.g. community gardens), stories (e.g. site-specific memories), local residents (e.g. their skills), local community groups (e.g. residents’ associations) and local institutions (e.g. schools).

The map, and an evaluation of how physical assets are experienced by their users, can help to identify what a community may or may not need to serve those living there and the gaps that need to be filled.

The following may assist:

Investment required

To complete an asset map, you will likely need to invest the following:

Time  1 to 4 weeks Could be less if resources re readily available, such as maps.
Cost $0 to $1000 Depending on required items such as venue hire, materials.
Effort Varies Less effort required if it involves simple information review and mapping. More effort required if subject to maintaining people’s involvement.

These are led by Council staff or an independent facilitator, aimed at encouraging open discussion between the community and other stakeholders.

Ideas and concepts gathered are worked into an achievable proposal.

The following may assist:

Investment required

To complete a charrette, you will likely need to invest the following:

Time  1 to 12 months Depending on how well planned and facilitated.
Cost Varies Depending on the extent of resources needed, such as payment of an independent facilitator.
Effort Significant Could be minimal to moderate effort, depending on the extent to which the facilitator is prepared.

Workshops where town planners, urban designers and other technical experts work with the community and other stakeholders to develop a design that works best for a particular area.

Elements such as local zoning and infrastructural capacity are discussed to produce an informed and achievable design concept. 

Investment required

To complete a design, you will likely need to invest the following:

Time  1 to 12 months Depending on the time frame for initial workshops and completion.
Cost $1000 or more May be Medium depending on the scale of the project.
Effort Significant Varies depending on the scale of the project.

This process sets out a series of parameters or criteria and invites people to get involved by submitting their designs or attending workshops aimed at influencing a final design.

Investment required

To complete a design competition/workshop, you will likely need to invest the following:

Time  1 to 12 months Maybe shorter depending on the scale of the project.
Cost $100 to $1000  
Effort Significant Varies depending on the scale of the project. Phases will vary in intensity.

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are a defined area within a commercial centre where business owners work together on projects to improve and promote it.

The Council’s BID programme encourages and supports business owners to work collaboratively to improve local business areas through a range of initiatives, including networking, events and other place-making projects.

Investment required

To complete a business improvement districts (BID), you will likely need to invest the following:

Time 1 to 12 months This will depend on a number of factors, such as how organised the business community is and the level of support for a BID.
Cost $1000 or more Costs will be spread out over time. The Council’s BID establishment grant fund provides funding to business associations looking to establish a BID.
Effort Significant This is expected to be significant, especially for those who are part of the establishment group. However, the benefits of a BID are worth the investment of time, cost and effort.