The emergence of community strategic planning in New South Wales, Australia: Influences, challenges and opportunities

Jason Prior
Jade Herriman


This paper investigates the emergence of community strategic planning in the New South Wales (NSW) local government sector, against the backdrop of a series of broad influences ranging from increased interest in participatory democracy through to sustainable infrastructure provision. It provides an understanding of how community strategic planning has evolved over the past few decades to embody these influences. The paper concludes with reflections on some common challenges and opportunities experienced by local councils in NSW that have undertaken voluntary community strategic planning or are in the process of developing community strategic plans. Given underlying similarities in the emergence of participatory long-term strategic planning in local government around the world, many of the experiences associated with the preparation of community strategic plans in the NSW context are likely to be of relevance to those undertaking similar processes in other jurisdictions.

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