Gold Coast City Council (2007)





Children's Garden, Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens

Engagement to inform the development of a world-class garden, play space and learning hub that stimulates the interaction and imagination of children of all abilities



Outcomes

  • A community engagement program with strong social justice principles to assist children and adults in conceptualising what they would like the Children's Garden to include
  • Ensured that all children – the eventual primary users of the garden –had a significant role in contributing ideas and were engaged in a highly participatory manner
  • Ensured that the key stakeholders of the space were invested through the process through the multiple engagements of the Friends of the Rosser Park Gold Coast Regional Botanical Gardens

key success factors

The 2007 'Garden's Alive Festival' provided Plan C with a unique opportunity to produce a 'Children's SpeakOut' as a major consultation activity for the Children's Garden consultation. The 'Children's SpeakOut' was a vibrant, engaging and informative space for children to interact with, and provide vital input into the design of the Children's Garden through a range of activities.

Based on garden elements favoured by children and adults through the engagement process, Plan C produced a design brief. It included recommendations for site design and layout, ideal plants and built elements, secret places and discovery, as well as maintenance and management, ideal involvement of local organisations and accessibility options.

Process

The SpeakOut is a leading practice approach to community engagement, as it encourages participants to engage with the particular elements of a project that interest them.

Other engagement included targeted interviews, schools workshops, meetings with Friends of the Rosser Park Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, workshops with Gold Coast City Council officers, and a 'Tea in the Gardens' community event.