Town Park is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Playford Alive urban renewal project. Due for completion in 2015, this flexible, multi-purpose recreation space will be a functional symbol of a vibrant and diverse community.
Renewal SA employed URPS, Natalie Fuller & Associates and Aspect Studios to help engage the community in the Town Park design process. Based on International Association for Public Participation principles (IAP2), the engagement process was divided into three stages – Stage 1 sought to ‘Collaborate’, Stage 2 to ‘Involve’, and Stage 3 to ‘Inform’.
Nearly 300 people participated in community events, face-to-face meetings, design workshops, and online surveys, supported by local signage, media, Facebook and website information. The engagement produced a 43 point “Community Design Brief” for Town Park, of which 42 points are met by the final concept design including celebration of local diversity and heritage; spaces to play, learn, relax, share food and be active; community pride; and “wow factor”.
This engagement process had plenty of “wow factor”, demonstrating what can be achieved when a community’s energy and creativity is applied to shape their local area. As one resident said, “It’s just what we need, giving input rather than just slapping something up and saying ‘here you go'”.
We are thrilled that the Town Park engagement received recognition at the PIA SA Awards for Planning Excellence 2014 and look forward to the realisation of this community driven design. Plans for Town Park can be viewed at www.playfordalive.com.au.