‘Place’ is a values-based connection that an individual or community associates with a particular location. Where a person or community’s values align with a place it is called ‘place connection’. This connection is an emotional connection which can be very individual or unique to a person or community.
By focusing on connection to place rather than the physical and material aspects of place provides a new understanding of valuing places across different areas, as well as being responsive to the diverse needs of all residents, and importantly, the intangible aspects that affect how people interact with places.
Great places are where people feel good, want to come back to and feel connected to. They are accessible, welcoming, and sociable.
A place-based approach involves looking at, listening to, and asking questions of the people who live, work and play in a particular space in order to discover the needs and aspirations of those people and to create a common vision for that place.
Place-based programs seek to deliver sustainable social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits through place-based partnerships and program interventions customised to a specific location and the needs of its different communities.
It’s a community-based process, not just a strategy or solution that is implemented by government leaders or planners. It is about building community capacity within a place to a point where it can ultimately sustainably manage itself in the longer term.
About the Noosa Place Program
The Noosa Place Program will focus on how we can work together with communities to nurture and improve these place connections and ultimately the liveability of our villages and the Shire. Understanding the relationship between people and their places is the key to understanding local liveability, and how it can be enhanced.
In November 2021 Noosa Council in conjunction with Place Score conducted our first Liveability Survey. This survey provided an understanding from community members about what they value most about their neighbourhood and how they rate their neighbourhood in terms of liveability. These scores were then combined to provide an overall Liveability Index for each neighbourhood.
These results allow us to focus on the things most valuable to our community both Shire wide and by location. It helps us plan and make decisions that will have the biggest impact on liveability and wellbeing in your neighbourhood. By planning for liveability, we provide safe, healthy, active and resilient communities and places.
The Noosa Place Program will enable further consultation with the community to drill down and find out what specifically has underpinned these experiences to then determine the most appropriate place intervention and how the community can work alongside Council and other stakeholders to improve these experiences.
Why have a Pilot Project?
A Place pilot project will enable Council to manage this new approach to delivering place-based outcomes in conjunction with the community. It can identify any deficiencies and improve upon the process prior to undertaking a full-scale project before substantial resources are committed.
The pilot will also road test organisation governance structures and processes within Council and develop learnings that will inform future place-based approaches.
Building upon the role of a pilot project it is important to consider what key characteristics or criteria would be required for a location to be a suitable pilot for the place program. These include:
- A Community of a scale and nature that will have capacity to understand the role of a pilot (it will be innovative but not perfect), the need for effective collaboration with all stakeholders and will provide measurable outcomes for evaluation.
- Community with leadership and existing or potential resources for committing to the process to ensure long term sustainability.
- Community with an identified need for a place-based intervention.
- Alignment with Council plans, strategies and resources e.g., Corporate and Operational Plans, Budget, Key Strategies etc
Council at its meeting on 16 February 2023 endorsed Pomona to be considered for the pilot location for the Place Program. Further information regarding the commencement of the Place Pilot will be provided in the near future.