The 2018 Liveable Cities Conference is being held this month over 16 – 17 July at the Pullman Melbourne on the Park.
Now in its 11th year, this Conference will continue to explore the liveability of our metropolitan and regional urban centres.
Ms Julie Francis, Collaboration Lead at Melbourne Water joins us at the conference to discuss ‘Redesigning the city – working across boundaries’.
Creating more liveable cities often seems an intractable problem when faced with the vast number of organisations affecting the design, operation and culture of cities. Different perspectives on any given issue, and a tendency to focus within a narrow jurisdictional boundary can make it difficult to realise big picture outcomes. Urban water catchments are a case in point, where several different organisations usually make decisions about the waterway and surrounding land use. Additionally, many more parties have impacts on the amenity of a waterway or the drainage and flooding potential in a catchment, without ever considering themselves actors in waterway and catchment management. To try and change how we work across boundaries, 18 partners are collaborating to solve complex issues in the Moonee Ponds Catchment in Melbourne.
Throughout 2017 collaborators came together to learn, build respect and trust amongst each other, share knowledge and work together to create new ideas and solutions. After much consideration and some false starts, the group eventually landed on ‘coordination’ as a theme on which collaborative initiatives could be developed. The group will advocate for transformational on-ground projects to implement, however by concentrating on coordination activities that all members can contribute to, the group has allowed for participation by all. Collaborative mapping projects and work on guidelines to influence land use outcomes are low cost projects to start implementing, creating the ideal starting point to begin collaboration. The intention is for this group to exist for many years, and to learn and revise their way of working, as each collaborative initiative progresses.
The lessons learned from this process of collaborative urban waterway management can be applied to many complex issues that face others with an interest in the redesign and transformation of our cities.
Julie Francis is an environmental scientist with an interest in collaboration as a means for achieving sustainable cities. She has worked in Victorian state and local government in a variety of city-shaping strategic and project management roles. This has included the City of Melbourne, the Department of Transport, and Melbourne Water. She currently leads a collaboration of organisations working to transform the Moonee Ponds Creek into an iconic waterway for Melbourne. Julie is also a member of Horticulture Innovation Australia’s Green Cities Expert Advisory Panel, advising on research investments that explore the impacts of greening on our cities.
For more information on the upcoming 2018 Liveable Cities Conference in Melbourne and to secure your spot please visit liveablecities.org.au