Placemaking’s role in job creation

At the 2018 Job Summit, placemaking was addressed in the context of economic development - and the role it plays in facilitating job creation.


How should the new Wanneroo Place Framework be enacted? This is the sixth part of a feature on the Wanneroo Jobs Summit 2018. The City of Wanneroo welcomes your feedback and comments.

The term “placemaking” was coined in the 70s by architects and urban planners to describe the design of public squares or plazas.  Since then it’s come to represent an entire set of principles which serve to outline civic best practice when it comes to shaping local areas, their development, and management.

To start with, what is the concept of Place.

Place describes where we live our lives, where kids grow up, where friendships develop, where families bond, where sports are played, and communities gather. Places matter because they give rise to interpersonal relationships and feed our human need for belonging and social connection.

Placemaking builds on this concept of community.  It describes the establishment of environments where people can flourish.

Placemaking is synonymous with quality of life and wellbeing, collaboration, inclusivity and communication amongst citizens and stakeholders.

It also celebrates a community’s distinct identity and appreciates tradition, whilst staying open to innovation and new technologies.

The City of Wanneroo understands the importance of placemaking and has set out its very own Place Framework [1] aimed at guiding the City’s Place Approach.

At the City of Wanneroo’s 2018 Job Summit, placemaking was addressed in the context of economic development – and the role it plays in facilitating job creation.

Whilst Place is deeply central to the wellbeing of people, it is also a huge influencer of material prosperity.

Historically, factors of climate, location, accessibility to goods and services and corresponding opportunities, are all Place variables which play an important role in a local economy.

Research from Deloitte’s Access Economics [2] indicates that productivity is also closely linked to Place and explains how placemaking can help local councils ease the transition to a knowledge-based economy.

According to these findings, proximity is key to prosperity in a knowledge economy.

How this works is, the race to keep up with technological advancement spills over from one innovative enterprise to another which reinforces clustering as these businesses start sharing ideas with one another.

This then sparks a “stimulation-cycle” whereby knowledge workers who share a vicinity interact and in doing so ignites further creativity, which amplifies innovation and increases output.  New collaborations spring up, this increases efficiencies further and new business models are spawned.

All the while this activity is fostering economic growth, increasing social and political inclusion and maximising shared prosperity.

The City of Wanneroo’s Place Framework supports this thinking.

It aims to embrace innovation and technology in the making of its places and also create closer collaborative partnerships between government, business and the community to identify and address gaps so as to further develop places that are geared for this kind of new-economy activity. [3]

Ideas raised at the Job Summit with respect to enacting the City’s Place Framework included that of listening to community needs, collaborating with multiple stakeholders and attracting services and innovative thinkers to settle in our local places.

The City of Wanneroo recognises that flourishing, vibrant, diverse and connected places are the result of a collaborative ecosystem made up of multiple stakeholders, comprising:

  • Government and non-Government: providers of health, education, training programs, welfare services and public transport
  • Business Owners: investing in the provision of retail and commercial services, offices, public buildings and housing, all of which fuel local jobs
  • Property Owners and Investors: providing capital investment, bringing much needed buildings, car parking and outdoor spaces for patrons
  • Council: as a custodian and service provider, facilitating and advocating for the success of these places
  • State & Federal Government: providing grants, facilities and infrastructure for public space development
  • Community Interest Groups: contribute their ideas and talent, capturing interest in a place setting, this could be in the form of art, theatre, culture, markets, exhibitions and other forms of entertainment
  • Residents & Visitors: Users of services, people who live and frequent places, bringing vibrancy, activity, diversity and social interaction to the space.

Each of these participants [4] play a significant role in creating flourishing future spaces within the City of Wanneroo, allowing its residents and businesses to thrive.

As the City’s place approach unfolds over the next ten years, the aim will be to work closely with its various communities, safeguarding Wanneroo’s unique heritage whilst exploring innovative opportunities into the future.

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 [3] [pg 7/22]

 [4] [pg 18/22]