Small Creek, in Ipswich Qld, was straightened and lined with concrete as surrounding areas urbanised several decades ago. Ipswich City Council now wants to reinstate 1.6 km of naturalised channel to deliver multiple benefits to the community.
A deep level of community engagement was sought that would sow the seeds for long-term community ownership – a critical element of successful waterway revegetation projects. Design Your Creek Week was the centrepiece of the community consultation. Held in November 2016, it was a hands-on co design process where the design team immersed itself in the site for five days and worked with over 180 participants to develop Big Plans for Small Creek.
Key benefits of this approach were:
+ It was rapid – after five days on site highly resolved concept designs were produced that had been modelled, interrogated, workshopped, and documented.
+ It was robust – enabling the design team to really know the site, its surrounds, and the local residents.
+ It was efficient – investigation, consultation and endorsement were all handled concurrently so there was less rework and fewer hold points.
+ It was transparent – both Council and the community got to see, and be involved in, all the inner workings and processes.
The first stage of construction commenced in late 2017, and the presentation will share some of the early lessons from the construction and establishment process.