Embedding young people in Council's Planning and Engagement Processes


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Cred and City of Parramatta have won a National Award for Planning Excellence in the category Public Engagement and Community Planning for our project "Embedding young people in Council's Planning and Engagement Processes." 

While the needs of young people are often discussed, there are seldom formal processes to include or empower them in community planning, design, or public engagement processes. This led the City of Parramatta to ask: “How can we embed engagement with young people in our planning processes?”

The Needs of Young People study aimed to recognise the contribution of young people to the City of Parramatta and make recommendations to embed young people in all Council planning activities. The study extensively engaged with young people in various ways, including networking with the Outburst Western Sydney Youth Action Group, online and intercept surveys, hip-hop place activation, and a Snapchat forum and competition. Findings were truth tested with local youth agencies and young people. 

The establishment of the Parramatta Youth Forum #PaintyourParra enabled a stronger voice for young people, provided opportunity for young people to have direct contact with Council staff, and considered the needs of young people in designing public spaces. 

According to the Planning Institute of Australia: 

"The project sets a new benchmark for involving local youth in planning consultation processes. It was not a traditional consultation process; it was a hands-on, iterative process as the project grew. It had an empowering effect, and was about planning for the future with tangible outcomes. The project has resulted in the needs and aspirations of the young influencing council decision-making. It is something all councils and communities should aspire to across Australia."
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