Collaborating for Greater Sydney’s Future

Collaborating around a whiteboard
05 Jul 2019
News | At the heart of the Commission’s DNA is collaboration. We know that bringing people together positively and constructively is the best way to address urban challenges.

This is most evident in our program of Collaboration Areas where the high productivity potential of a place can only be unlocked by bringing together multiple stakeholders to address complex urban issues. These are commonly strategic centres and areas of employment activity such as Liverpool Town Centre or the Randwick Health and Education Precinct.

In 2017 the Commission commenced work on five Collaboration Areas. The approach proved so beneficial to the stakeholders involved that in 2019 we have commenced work on another four - Bankstown, Kogarah, Campbelltown-Macarthur and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

Working in Collaboration Areas is a rigorous, transformative process that brings together multiple stakeholders to create a shared vision, identify impediments and opportunities, agree on priorities, and set out projects and initiatives to deliver the vision. These issues are captured in a Place Strategy that explains the local area’s vision and the practical steps to achieve it. Our experience is that each Collaboration Area is as unique as its local environment and stakeholders.

The Commission has finalised the Place Strategies for the 2017-18 Collaboration Area program which included Liverpool, Randwick and Camperdown-Ultimo Collaboration Areas. These are available on the Commission’s website.

The Commission recently held a Collaboration Areas Symposium which brought together stakeholders and organisations from across the two-year program for the first time to share lessons learned about best practice. Their eight key learning were:

  1. Every collaboration area is different and needs its own focus and approach to achieve outcomes
  2. We need to bring everyone with us on the journey
  3. While quick wins are important for morale, collaboration areas are a long term game to achieve gain
  4. We need to manage expectations at the same time as being ambitious
  5. We must listen to and trust our collaboration partners
  6. We need great data and to truly manage change/success we must measure our starting point
  7. There is great value in having an independent co-ordinator focused on place and getting everyone together, and
  8. Enduring equitable and well-funded governance is key to real implementation and outcomes

Later in the year we hope to generate lots of discussion when we publish an insights paper on the process and its outcomes. For more information, contact Erika Pawley, Director City Planning Projects:

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