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Liveable Yarra - planning for the city's future using a deliberative process

conference contribution
posted on 01.01.2016, 00:00 authored by A Stone, Fiona AndrewsFiona Andrews
Community engagement on planning processes is traditionally adversarial,
with residents reacting to a development proposal or local amenity impacts.
With the significant increase in inner-urban medium-high density developments and
subsequent pressure on physical and social infrastructure, the City of Yarra embarked on a
new approach to the rewrite of its Planning Scheme. This paper describes the process by which
the City of Yarra involved the community to help address some of the dilemmas and trade-offs
which are necessarily part of planning in an inner-urban area.
To hear from a broad range of voices and receive informed recommendations, a deliberative
process, the Liveable Yarra project was formed. It aimed to have an in-depth two-way
conversation with the community about how Yarra can adapt to the challenges and
opportunities brought about by growth and change.
A 60 member People’s Panel, comprising a cross section of Yarra’s community, came together
to learn, debate and provide recommendations to Council on the topics of housing, transport,
built form and the local economy. The Panel was supplemented by feedback from a household
baseline survey, Council’s Advisory Committees and targeted workshops with hard-to-reach
This was the first time a deliberative approach has been undertaken for a topic as multifaceted
and far-reaching as rewriting a Local Government Planning Scheme. It allowed participants
to gain an understanding of the complexity of planning issues and the challenges this presents
to Council decision making. It’s expected that the revised Planning Scheme will more
accurately reflect community expectations, improve liveability and enhance community
understanding of the complex issues faced by Council in planning the city’s future.
Furthermore, in describing this approach, along with reflections from those Councillors,
planners and community members involved, we hope to provide a model which other councils
could embrace to enhance their existing planning processes.



Making Cities Liveable. Conference (9th : 2016 : Melbourne, Victoria)


82 - 103


Association for Sustainability in Business


Melbourne, Victoria

Place of publication

Nerang, Q.L.D.

Start date


End date






Publication classification

E Conference publication; E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2016, Association for Sustainability in Business



Title of proceedings

Proceedings of the 9th making Cities Liveable Conference