Global Local In Brief: Community planning


Community planning

This week, we’re concluding our series on community engagement with a look at community planning, examining how wider participation in planning can lead to fairer, more prosperous and inclusive public spaces.

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What is community planning?

There are many different definitions, but the Government of Scotland’s explanation is as good as any: Community planning is about how public bodies work together, and with local communities, to design and deliver better services that make a real difference to people’s lives.

At the heart of this is public service reform. Community planning deals with specific local circumstances, forging partnerships that ensure residents — especially members of vulnerable groups and people at risk of poverty — have what they need. In some ways, it’s a core purpose of local government, reflecting community views on wellbeing and living standards. 

However, there are many complex factors to consider. From regional engagement and policy analysis to transport, public health, public finance and geospatial strategy, there’s an art to designing a successful community plan. The canvas is broad, but each brush stroke has to be purposeful. Join us as we examine approaches that have paid off in Canada, the Netherlands and elsewhere, as well as further resources to help you put your own plan into action. 

In Brief: featured content

Giving the community a say, ‘PlanningVancouver Together

By Anna Haas, LGIU Associate

In early 2019, a team of Vancouver residents met for six months to discuss a new city-wide approach to community planning. By July, the City of Vancouver council approved the proposal for the ‘Planning Vancouver Together’ (PVT) strategy, a three-year programme for community involvement in developing urban areas. PVT has been designed for the good of current and future generations. 

Notably, the plan is transparent and inclusive, with key principles set in stone. This is in strong contrast to many other city planning models, which still are focused on decades-old problems such as congestion, slums and pollution. The Guardian’s David Rudlin believes that modern planning has “gone too far” with granular over-regulation. And, while Vancouver’s PVT stands as a more contemporary example of citizen engagement, other towns have adopted ‘neighbourhood planning,’ which isn’t exactly the same idea. Our main briefing discusses these differences and what can be drawn from both approaches. 

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LGIU Global Local Highlights

Community planning — reshaping collaboration in local areas 

Northern Ireland’s local government has undergone a considerable overhaul in recent years, as councils get to grips with preparing and establishing their own community plans for the first time.

Subscribe to Glocal Local to read this briefing. 

How Vienna built a gender-equal city 
Planning is often dominated by men. Failing to recognise women’s experiences may skew your strategy to a male norm and none other. LGiU’s Kat McManus writes about how Vienna became a role model for better gender-inclusivity in community plans.

Read our expert blog post.

Innovation & Inspiration

Curated case studies and news from around the globe

Netherlands: Community-led Local Development improves trust 

In 2016, Community-led Local Development (CLLD) was implemented in Scheveningen, The Hague, chosen in part due to the region’s poorer socio-economic conditions and historic tension between residents and the city authorities. The CLLD strategy was launched as a pilot programme to improve mutual trust and attitudes toward local government, with a professional mediator hired to bring together local action groups, residents and policymakers. In the years that followed, the CLLD saw thirty new projects implemented in an effective partnership, including playground and museum redevelopment.

European Commission

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Policy & Resources

Interview: Introduction to participatory planning 
Dr. Nader Naderpajouh, senior lecturer at RIMT University, and Alison Whitten, the City of Melbourne’s sustainable and resilient precincts lead, discuss how participatory planning has evolved. They dissect its essential features, benefits and limitations.

Toolkit: Co-production in community planning 
Carnegie UK worked with local governments in Northern Ireland through the Embedding Wellbeing in Local Government Programme from 2017 to 2021. Together with Community Places and Queen’s University Belfast, they developed a toolkit for co-operation in community planning.

Join the Global Local community to get more tips for practical delivery. 

This week’s Global Local bulletin, next week’s In Brief

Our paid subscriber edition this week examines museums and local heritage and their roles in our communities.

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