Three way communication creates place making results

Two years ago, the town of Nambour on the Sunshine Coast was a little lost. It had great ‘bones’ but the surface was looking a little tired. The place was a bit … well, directionless. Fast forward one year, and the local council adopted the Nambour Activation Plan. Unlike many plans, the Activation Plan does not prescribe what must happen, when and at what cost. Rather, it is an ‘enabler’ – providing the webbing and stimulation for locals to define the types of projects and place Nambour wants to be.

Fast forward another year to the present, and the catchphrase ‘a thriving and extraordinary place to live, work and play’ is beginning to ring true, as many of the actions proposed are either completed or underway. The key is the three way partnership between the community, council, and the Nambour Alliance (which represents the businesses of the area) that has existed since the first proposal to ‘do something about Nambour’. This collaboration has allowed open discussions on how best to re-invigorate the town through both short term and long term place making activities.

With all three groups working together, the town has progressed four ‘big’ key strategic projects that were identified through consultation. Council will soon finalise design plans to re-invent the local aquatic facilities, and provide better access to the local creek and surrounding open space.

Over $600,000 has been raised through grants and donations to restore and re-introduce the heritage cane train to the centre of town. When operational, it will be one of the few heritage trams in Australia regularly transporting people.

Council funding allocations have been brought forward to complete a detailed design to expand the facilities of the iconic showgrounds. Blank walls are sporting funky artworks instead of graffiti, buskers and food trucks are popping up, and local music is being supported thanks to a small number of venues. With common support from the community, council and the Nambour Alliance, Nambour is rediscovering its soul.

For further information on the place making activities in Nambour, go to the Nambour Activation Plan site.

Paul McKinlay | Social Policy Officer
Open Space and Social Policy Team | Environment & Sustainability Policy
Planning and Environment Department | Sunshine Coast Council


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