Building healthy and resilient places doesn’t always require multi-million dollar infrastructure projects and 20 year master plan strategies. Building a community with a strong and unified vision, encouraging new community ideas and developing positive partnerships with residents, businesses, land owners and governments are often more efficient key drivers for getting things done.
‘The Place Project’ was an initiative facilitated by the City of Busselton to better understand how the local government could best service its local community through activation and a strong place making vision. Following a series of workshops and engagement exercises the government staff found the best way to service the government was adopting a place-led approach and facilitating a ‘doing more by doing less’ attitude.
One of the most resounding messages was that anyone can have an idea and that initiatives don’t need to be driven by the City. We have so much talent and energy within our community and the City needs to look at ways to embrace this creativity. – Mayor, Grant Henley
The Place Team staff worked in partnership with Len Kosova from LK Advisory and presented key place making principles to the Busselton community in easy to follow language and strong visuals. These workshops included fun and engaging ‘place-solving’ exercises, which required community members to work in small teams to begin an on-going discussion about creating better places.
Figure One: Busselton Town Centre Community Auditing Heat Mapping Exercise: The map represents the outcomes of an ‘Anchor Mapping exercise, which community memebers highlighted the hot spots of future activation spaces to connect town centre anchors / destinations.
The exercises allowed participants to think deeply about meeting places and their town centre, future aspirations and the place identity. Our team also received valuable feedback regarding existing barriers and opportunities that impact on future activation and place making. This includes policy amendments, grant funding, how to guides, communications, etc.
The City is now clear on its place objectives and the administration staff and community is inspired to get more involved. Most importantly, all parties have showed a willingness to create an even better town centre and work as a unified community.
As a result, the ‘Building Busselton’ Town Team has recently been created, hosting regular meetings and getting started on their first actions; CBD winter warmer street event, a retail promotional event, street murals showcasing the centre’s local identity and free fitness classes in the town square park! To find more about the ‘Building Busselton’ town team visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Building-Busselton-108384297312416/
Whether it results in people buying a coffee in the CBD after, or a retail worker feeling brighter having done yoga, or having lunch in Mitchell Park, the benefits are good all round for everyone in our CBD workers, community members and visitors. – Building Busselton Team Member commenting on the Yoga in the Park initiative.
Contact David Snyder from The Place Team at [email protected] to find out more about this project and how we can help your local government deliver an exciting town team building initiative.