Abstract: In the last three decades, a number of master planned communities (MPCs) have been developed in South East Queensland (SEQ) as part of the response to the housing demands of rapid population growth. Developers, state government, local councils and communities play key roles in the production and management of infrastructure and community services in these Masterplanned communities. Alongside rising community expectations regarding quality of services, there is an increasing trend for developers to be involved in either the direct provision of infrastructure, or its funding, with local councils and the state government playing a facilitating role in provision of services alongside their more traditional role of direct provision. It is imperative to understand the governance structures as well as governance challenges of master planned communities at different stages of development.
The objectives of this paper are to review governance frameworks and challenges for master planned communities at three critical stages of development: the visioning and planning stage, the implementation stage, and the completion stage. The paper has identified three distinct governance structures of master planned communities – single developer model, principal developer model and government led model. Three case studies from South East Queensland, each being representative of a particular governance structure, are used to evaluate each of the three stages of development with respect to the challenges involved in the provision of infrastructure and services. The paper provides a framework for analysing the relationship between governance structures and the development of master planned communities, focusing on the relationships that exist between institutional stakeholders, and on the potential impacts of the transfer of infrastructure and service provision from private management to community and local control.