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Supporting better community engagement in projects

New collaboration to help generate knowledge and improve involvement
There is growing awareness that community participation is fundamental to fair and representative decision making in contemporary planning and service delivery processes.

A research collaboration with The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and The University of Sydney, John Grill Centre team will generate new insights to help improve community engagement and involvement in the planning and delivery of major infrastructure. The new insights generated will contribute to increased knowledge and skills to support better project outcomes for society.

“Community participation enables equity, efficiency, transparency and democracy” notes Arvind Tyagi, Executive Director Portfolio Transformation, Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment.

This research collaboration will assist the department to plan and implement major projects with community needs in mind.
Arvind Tyagi, Executive Director Portfolio Transformation, Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment

The research aims to:

  • explore the mindsets and practices that support community-centred approaches to the planning and delivery of major infrastructure, and the benefits of such approaches
  • explore how growing societal expectations for engagement, inclusion and transparency in planning and project decision-making can be best responded to
  • examine how trade-offs might arise in the planning and delivery of major infrastructure and how they can best be navigated.

The University of Sydney team working with the Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment (NSW) include Professor Suresh Cuganesan, Chief Executive, John Grill Centre for Project Leadership, Dr Kenneth Chung and Dr David Oliver.

Professor Suresh Cuganesan said, “this will be an invaluable piece of research to support government in planning major projects by ensuring lessons are learnt from past projects whilst building a understanding of the best ways to work with communities.”

Initial work will commence with research of case studies of major infrastructure projects in New South Wales which represent better practices and/or opportunities for improvement in terms of community-centred and collaborative approaches to planning and service delivery.

A white paper of case studies and finding will be produced for November 2019.