As part of its leadership role there is an expectation that local government will facilitate the contribution of citizens and communities in government planning and decision-making processes.
Increasingly, Local Government Authorities are becoming more involved in setting the overall direction through policy and planning and engaging with stakeholders and the community through partnerships to deliver programs and services.
City of Melville uses an asset based community development (ABCD) approach to do this with the intent to:
- provide an opportunity to map community assets to be connected and mobilised for action
focus on identifying and using assets and strengths in the community, rather than emphasising the problems and deficits
harness the passion of community members and providing a process to enable them to utilise these passions in positive ways
develop a systematic process for identifying and detailing resources (individual skills and organisational resources) and strengths at the suburb level within the community
Neighbourhood Development is a pro-active process of integrating social, cultural, economic and environmental planning that:
identifies holistic and sustainable outcomes tailored to reflect the individual and distinctive characteristics of particular local communities
develops closer links between the organisation and the community; and
builds community commitment and capacity to contribute to the development and implementation of Neighbourhood Plans.
Neighbourhood development aims to:
- develop partnerships between communities and government, built on co-operation and recognition of the creative ideas and skills that neighbourhoods have to offer.
- be an interactive, community based activity that engages local residents to participate in decision-making processes for their neighbourhoods.
- embed the practice of viewing places as increasingly complex systems and recognising the diversity between local communities.
- Enable people to have greater ‘voice’ and ‘choice’ must be part of any attempt to re-energise our democracy and enhance local accountability and responsibility for services.
The Community Plan 2007-2017 for the City of Melville (People Places Participation) focuses on Neighbourhood Development as a key initial step in “finding out in more detail about what is important to people in their local communities”.