Are you ready for the Next Generation Engagement for Strategic Planning?

On the 8th of April, Place Score hosted three inspiring speakers; Kristin Davies (Coordinator Social Infrastructure and Open Space Planning, Surf Coast Shire Council), Amber Herrmann (Community Development and Engagement Coordinator, Port Stephens Council) and Maxime Boutaghou (Urban Research Associate, Place Score) for a free lunchtime webinar to share how local governments are innovating both in terms of the way they engage and how they use the results of engagement.

This report was written by Place Score’s Urban Research Assistant, Srishti Sharma.

As a recent postgraduate, it has always intrigued me on how councils deliver and prioritise amongst the numerous things that need to be delivered, how do they know? When I joined Place Score, only a month ago, Kylie Legge, helped me see another side planning where all the answers lie within our own cites, all we need to ask the right questions. So, when I heard that Place Score was hosting a free webinar about next generation strategic aligning where councils talk about how they use our data, I was interested!

Kristin from Surf Coast Shire explained how the data has not only helped them prioritise amongst the different needs but has also helped align the strategic planning amongst the different departments within the council. They have adopted a new moto now – less strategies, more strategic!

Amber Herrmann built on this and informed that the council now acts as one strategic lead. It has helped them apply for grants, prioritse investments and realise what the community currently values and is happy with.

Maxime, Urban Research Associate at Place Score, highlighted the successful story of the City of Darwin. They used community insights to understand what to deliver and where to deliver it. This showcased that every place is different, and the same strategic directions cannot apply to every area.

It was amazing to hear how community-led data has helped bring so much change from the traditional way of planning. In this process, every person has the opportunity to be heard and be a part of their city’s growth, and as planners we help deliver it to them. Now that I saw the potential of the user-based data that Place Score has been collecting, I am even more excited about the 2021 Australian Liveability Census that we are working towards. The possibilities are endless when we start listening to the voices of the cities, because answers do lie within them.


Srishti Sharma © 2021
Urban Research Assistant

If you would like to know more about how the Place Score Liveability Platform and maximising the value of large scale community engagement, then please get in touch with us at or call us on (02) 8021 7027.


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