Community engagement for planning is traditionally a time consuming and expensive process. Qualitative inputs are received from interested community members, these are then analysed and filtered by consultants to produce a report summarising the community’s perspective. The information does not necessarily represent the whole of the community and can tend towards complaint rather than genuine engagement in solving an issue. Place Score turns the qualitative into quantitative data to direct investment in positive change and measure the benefits of that investment.

Townsville City Council has engaged Place Score to undertake a liveability study in the Townsville LGA. Whilst the project is not due for completion until June 2019 (delayed due to the February flooding), the data collected will identify what people care about and measure how key neighbourhoods are performing in terms of liveability.

Together, Council and Place Score are collecting two data distinct sets of data from the local community:

  • A Neighbourhood Care Factor survey across the LGA that will provide clear direction regarding community values. It will provide Council with the Top 10 valued attributes for their community, as well as a full demographic breakdown that illustrates how different groups are aligned or conflicted.
  • Neighbourhood Place Experience (PX) Assessments in five key areas that will provide a baseline of community place experience, identifying what attributes are currently contributing positively, or negatively, to how liveable the neighbourhood is.

Together these two data sets will help Council identify what is important, how a neighbourhood is performing and what the focus of change should be.

Abstract from ICTC 2019 Conference
Author: Ainsley Milton, Account Manager, Place Score and Sally Butler, Senior Social Planner – Future Cities, Townsville City Council