Liveable Yarra Project

The Liveable Yarra: better planning for people and places project provided an opportunity for us to have an in-depth conversation with our community about how Yarra can adapt to the challenges and opportunities brought about by growth and change in our city.

The community engagement process 

In 2015, we undertook a new community engagement approach to this project to ensure participation from all sections of our diverse community. The consultation consisted of a number of elements including a People's Panel, Advisory Committees, and targeted community workshops. 

These conversations are helping inform changes to the Yarra Planning Scheme – a technical document that guides decisions about planning.

Watch a video about our community engagement process

People’s Panel

The people’s panel, which took place in August and September 2015, was an exciting first for Council, playing a critical role in ensuring we understand the views of people who live, work, and visit and invest locally.

The panel was made up of 60 people from a range of demographics, representing the diversity of views and experiences in Yarra. Council engaged Capire Consulting Group to assist with the recruitment process and the panel workshops.

Members of the Panel attended four sessions where they examined a range of topics including housing, heritage, transport, built form, open space and the local economy.

The People's Panel's recommendations and feedback were presented to Council on 24 November 2015.

The Council report and Liveable Yarra Engagement Report are available below:

Liveable Yarra Project Summary report
Liveable Yarra Engagement Report
Liveable Yarra Council Report

Advisory committees

Each of our consultative committees provided advice regarding their specific areas of expertise to feed in to the consultation process.

Their advice was presented to, and considered by, the People’s Panel. A summary of the Advisory Committees' advice is available below:

Advisory Committee Conversation Summaries - 20 October 2015

Targeted community workshops

We held special workshops for sections of the community that may require extra support to participate in such a broad and complex matter. Workshops for non-English speaking residents, residents of Yarra’s public housing estates and a session for under 18’s were held in August and September 2015. 

A targeted workshop was also held with developers, investors and planning consultants.

A summary of the feedback received during the targeted workshops is available below:

Targeted workshops - Scheme Rewrite - 20 October 2015

Background Papers

To provide in-depth information on the key issues for deliberation, the People’s Panel were provided with detailed background papers as follows:

The Story of the Evolution of Yarra
Access and Movement Background Paper 
Built Environment Background Paper
Business and Employment Background Paper

Planning For The Future Survey

In May 2015, we gathered opinions from residents through the ‘Future of Yarra Survey’. This survey identified challenges relating to growth and change facing the City of Yarra.

A letter was sent by mail to 10,000 randomly selected households inviting one person aged over 18 to complete an anonymous online survey. We offered interpreter assistance and a paper version of the survey.

After two weeks, a total of 833 completed responses were received and the methodology utilised resulted in the demographics of respondents fairly closely representing the overall resident population.

You can read the report Planning For The Future 2015 - Results From a Randomised Household Survey below.

The survey findings, first presented to the Liveable Yarra People's Panel in August, have helped improve our understanding of community attitudes towards and preferences for population growth, housing development, open space, commercial activities, safety and transport in the municipality and continue to have practical application in community engagement and strategic planning.

Planning For The Future 2015 - Results From a Randomised Household Survey