Joining the neighbourhood

Three councils in metropolitan Victoria have been selected to join The Neighbourhood Project, a program to transform underused locations into vibrant community spaces. 

Cardinia Shire Council, Hobsons Bay City Council and Whitehorse City Council have been selected to participate in the project, granting them 12 months of mentoring, training and funding to inspire local people to come together to activate underused locations.
Led by not-for-profit CoDesign Studio, with support from the Myer Foundation, the program encourages and supports councils and residents to work in partnership to establish thriving neighbourhood spaces.

Cardinia Shire Council Mayor Jodie Owen said the program would create a sense of inclusivity across the shire.

“The Neighbourhood Project will help us to lead positive and long-term change in our shire to enhance the wellbeing of all our residents, and create more connected, healthy and safe communities.

“This is a unique opportunity to empower our community to take an active role in shaping our public spaces and support the development of a strong sense of belonging for all members of our diverse and growing community.”

Over 12 months, The Neighbourhood Project will see three community-led projects implemented within Cardinia. The aim of the program is to equip Council officers with new skills, tools and resources to successfully plan and implement projects in partnership with the community, introducing a more collaborative approach to planning and creating public spaces.

General Manager of City Development at Whitehorse City Council, Jeff Green, said the opportunity to work collaboratively with the community is an important part of the project.

“The creation of great places is driven by the ideas, knowledge and passions of the people who know them best – the local community.
“Through the Neighbourhood Project, the City of Whitehorse will engage many different voices to find ways to transform neighbourhood spaces together.”

The Neighbourhood Project is part of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV)’s Future of Local Government Program, providing an opportunity for active participation between local government and communities, and forms part of the Resilient Melbourne Strategy, which is endorsed by all metropolitan Melbourne councils.

John Hennessy, Sector Development Manager at the MAV, said the program has so far been very successful and encourages community-driven ideas.

“The Neighbourhood Project is leading the way in the transition to community-led place-making and place activation.

“It’s already been a catalyst for participating councils to establish a culture where they can say ‘yes’ to community-led ideas.”