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Walking with communities: local government and community responses to local area renewal

14 Aug 2017

Local governments can play a significant role in supporting communities in local areas that are disadvantaged and/or are going through a process of local renewal. A changing focus for local government in supporting communities through these renewal processes is to adopt a more facilitative and consultative role where programs and initiatives are informed by the ideas, perspectives and skills of local residents.

Organisations who work with communities are increasingly utilising more collaborative approaches where the community and the administrative body work together collectively to address local issues.

This study seeks to understand how local government can address place focused renewal by collaborating with communities. It aims to explore:

  • The role of local government when working with communities, particularly in areas with a focus on local renewal;
  • How a tool such as the ‘collective impact framework’ can be utilised by governments in community collaboration initiatives; and
  • Key elements for success in local government led collaborations that involve a range of community stakeholders.

The study includes a review of theories and approaches that support collaborative place-based approaches and innovations. These provide considerations for local governments when framing approaches to collaborate with more self-reliant and sustainable communities through the lens of community wellbeing, social justice, public value and governance.

The study draws on the work of two local councils in Australia, Penrith City Council in New South Wales and Burnie City Council in Tasmania, who have responded to programs of local renewal by developing innovative and tailored local initiatives and solutions with their communities using tools to support a collaborative approach.

This report provides governments and stakeholders involved in local and place-focused renewal with conceptual framing and case study examples that can help inform and shape new community collaboration initiatives for their own contexts.

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