Mar 17 2015

Empowering communities through participatory design and development

This week Waterfront Auckland shared our community engagement experience with Biljana Savic, Project Director from the Prince’s Regeneration Trust in London. 

Biljana was awarded a 2014 Churchill Travelling Fellowship and is using this opportunity to explore different approaches to community and stakeholder engagement in design and development in different political, social and economic contexts, and at different spatial scales.

The first part of Biljana’s 2014 Fellowship saw her travel to Havana, Cuba, where she participated in a tour of key architectural and regeneration projects and an international design workshop to form part of an emerging masterplan for Havana.

She is now spending six weeks in Australia and New Zealand where she is focusing on different approaches to urban planning and design and policy related to community and stakeholder engagement.

Waterfront Auckland was the first stop on her New Zealand itinerary where we shared our experience from the early master planning of Wynyard Quarter, to neighbourhood projects like Waitemata Plaza, which is currently being refurbished and Wynyard Common, a new park planned for Wynyard Quarter.

Biljana recognises that how and where we build or revitalise existing buildings and places, and what we use them for impacts both those that will invest or occupy the not only those that will invest in or occupy them, but also the wider community – all those that live and work nearby, simply pass through or visit the area on a regular basis.

“It is only right that they should all be actively involved in shaping the developments that affect them. Having urban planning and design policies, processes, tools and methods that empower communities to do so is crucial.”