Future looks bright for ‘town-gown’ partnership

The City of Ryde and Macquarie University have celebrated the successful first year of their ‘town-gown’ partnership, which was formed to bring together the research and intellectual capacity of the two organisations for the benefit of the City of Ryde community.

Senior academics from the University recently joined Councillors and senior Council staff to review the progress of the Ryde Futures Partnership — Smart and Connected, with a number of projects initiated in 2012 already producing results.

One such project is a research study aimed at understanding how residents perceive Council and how well Council’s strategic direction aligns with the view of the community. The findings of this project will provide Council with guidance as to how to improve communication and engagement with the community.

Another exciting project responds to one of the community’s major concerns — the ever-increasing traffic congestion in the area.

A trial of innovative transport options is due to take place on the Macquarie University Campus, with the intention of informing Council in the development of options to relieve traffic congestion across the Ryde community.

City of Ryde Acting General Manager, Danielle Dickson, took the opportunity of the review of the Ryde Futures Partnership project to welcome the University’s new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bruce Dowton.

 “The Vice-Chancellor has an eminent academic record, but for me the most impressive feature of his experience has been his commitment to applying this knowledge to benefit the community in locations as diverse as Malaysia and Kazakhstan and I look forward to working with him in the coming year on joint projects that will improve the wellbeing of the people of Ryde,” said Ms Dickson.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dowton commented on the unique Futures Partnership, saying that, “This is an important partnership allowing the University to engage with our community and wider society.

“It is great to reflect on the many successful projects that have developed from it in the last year and to know there are more exciting innovations to come.”