Client: Yarra Ranges Council, Victoria

WITHIN A CLIMATE OF DISRUPTION AND GROWTH, WE CREATED A STRATEGIC ROADMAP FOR COUNCIL TO LEAD A COHESIVE FUTURE FOR THEIR REGION

"Dear Warby, I love your beautiful river, mountains, and forrests.." - Love Letters to Warburton by locals

"Dear Warby, when I come down the highway and see you ahead, I feel like I am getting the warmest hug," shared one local at the CoDesign Studio Love Letters to Warburton series as part of our authentic community engagement for Yarra Ranges Council.

Uncovering genuine sentiment and opinion is the key to unlocking a pathway to a coherent place narrative. All places undergo a change at different stages, whether that change is social, cultural, environmental or financial. The challenge is to understand the needs, wants, and opinions of existing stakeholders, balance that with the new and growing stakeholdership, and then develop a pathway to social cohesion for ongoing integration, growth, and community benefits.

In the case of the picturesque township and region of Warburton, 72 kilometres east of Melbourne, the council engaged CoDesign Studio to support them in tackling this very challenge.

Over an extended period, we provided research, expert advice, and on-the-ground action, to culminate in a strategic Place Plan to guide and empower the council as they wisely navigate this season of change.

Structured to answer the question "What do people love about Warburton the most?" We created an actionable and authentically connected roadmap to deliver on how Yarra Ranges Council can protect and nurture local strengths while ensuring that the pressures of growth complement, rather than detract, from the cherished place experience and identity of this unique regional township.

More specifically, our services included early creative engagement, best-practice place plan research, immersion in the community, pop-ups at local events, hundreds of love letters to Warburton, collaborative co-workshops with locals and a secondment period of co-working within the local government's office.

CoDesign Studio previously also consulted on the Warburton region masterplan.

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