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Penrith Neighbourhood Renewal Program

Project Member(s): Bruce, S.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Penrith City Council (Penrith City Council Consultancy Fund)

Start year: 2015

Summary: Penrith Council sought to review its approach to neighbourhood renewal and build on the successes of the last eight years. Staff had learnt a lot about ways of working with the community and were seeking to build on this. Approaches to community development had shifted and Council was seeking to integrate past learning with new knowledge to find approaches that better served and empowered the communities they were working with. As part of this evolvement of the neighbourhood renewal program, three new officers were recruited to the team to help create a more collaborative model of service. Facultating the team to work together was also part of this project. Penrith City Council (Council) initiated the Neighbourhood Renewal (NR) Program in 2006. The program provides an integrated model of community engagement, cultural development and employment and enterprise development across relatively disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Penrith City determined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) SEIFA Index of Relative Disadvantage. The program responded to council's increasing emphasis on resourcing older established neighbourhoods and operated within a strengths based framework (Council Business Paper, 2012). The program combines place making and creative community engagement with community cultural development practice and invests in the development of local services, facilities and employment opportunities. At the heart of the Penrith NR Program lies equity and social justice; working collaboratively with residents, artists, community services and a range of other stakeholders to address socio-economic disadvantage in priority neighbourhoods.

Keywords: neighbourhood renewal, community development, local government, community engagement, cultural development, employment development, enterprise development

FOR Codes: Urban Policy, Urban Planning