The suburb of Karawara in Perth has a diverse mix of public housing tenants, transient university students, long-term residents, young families and the elderly. Our engagement strategy included a stenciled discussion trail to promote the project, drop-in community barbeques around the suburb which involved mapping and design activities, and a series of formal workshops.

This strategy reached a range of people including young people, children, the elderly and people from a range of cultural backgrounds. Feedback from participants was positive with 92% of participants thinking the activities were good and 83% believing they made a meaningful contribution to the project.

Engagement led to a Public Open Space Masterplan and Community Action Plan. These documents break the masterplan down into a series of projects with varying priorities, stakeholders, budget requirements and timeframes. This approach encourages collaboration and shared responsibility between the local government, residents and other stakeholders.

One of the most immediate projects is a community herb garden, constructed by residents and maintained by the adjacent childcare centre. This low-cost, immediate action helps keep up momentum following the community engagement, ensure some results are achieved quickly, and encourage participation in longer term projects.