Intensive consultation strengthens planning

The City of South Perth has undertaken a planning project to renew the South Perth Station Precinct (SPSP) involving intensive consultation with the community and key stakeholders.

Situated two kilometres across the Swan River from the Perth CBD, the SPSP is a highly desirable location, which is identified as a District Activity Centre – a key area for the State Government’s required infill development and population and employment growth.
The City’s Place + Design study was an intensive collaborative project which built on the existing vision, consultant research and stakeholder input to date, and also considered development currently occurring in the area.

Facilitated by urban design, planning and place making consultants RobertsDay, the project centred around a Planning Design Forum, which ran over five days and provided an opportunity to bring together diverse stakeholders.

Local community members and landowners worked with key state government agencies, City staff and a team of urban planning and design, architecture, traffic and transport and economic consultants throughout the week of intensive workshops and design investigations.

In contrast to conventional stakeholder engagement processes, the forum brought all stakeholders and issues together at once, to be considered as interrelated variables.

Following a site tour of the SPSP, participants discussed topics including the character of the area, movement and transport, public realm, built form and architecture, and governance, with input from expert consultants in each topic.

Public open days were held to present the work-in-progress and provided an opportunity for further feedback to be collected.
Daily wraps from the forum were published on the City’s website, online engagement portal Your Say South Perth and social media to summarise the activities of each session.

A final report was presented to the community at a public open day in May 2017.

Stakeholder feedback received during and after the forum was incredibly positive and the learnings from the project will continue to be applied by the City across projects.

The City has already been approached by other local governments looking to implement similar processes.

These kinds of intensive collaborative projects require a high level of commitment from everyone involved; however, for complex projects it is an approach that can deliver benefits well beyond the conventional planning process.