Place – the final frontier. Place is geographical, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technological. It is where we are and where we want to be. It is where we struggle and where we dream. Where we build and where we join together. It is about connection to country and communities of solidarity.
Place can be the foundation for a shared community vision, an agreement that ensure everyone’s wellbeing. It can also become the basis of inequality and marginalization, when people are excluded from and struggle to find a place on the fringe.
Instead of centralised, top-down, one-size-fits-all social policy and development that results in gentrification and displacement, Making PLACE is about the flexible and responsive planning and design of local services, support systems and infrastructure that is driven by the community.
Making PLACE is about empowering communities to collectively determine what it is that they want to achieve. Partnership between policy makers, funders, services and service users can enable the co-design of place-based integrated services focused on meeting local community priorities and aspirations. But it needs to be driven by shared knowledge and understanding – based on all we know about community need, local cohorts experiencing hardship, evaluations of local services and service gaps – to deliver a comprehensive, responsive, localised approach.
Rather than telling people how to live their lives, we should be providing them with the tools to break down the barriers that create isolation and disadvantage, to foster social networks, connect people to community, and dismantle the systems that stand in their way.
Making PLACE is about:
People making a difference
Leveraging the opportunities
Aspiring to a better world
Connecting with others, and
Enacting bold initiatives together that create the places we can thrive in.