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D&D in Geraldton, Australia, wins global award

2029  and Beyond LogoDialogue and deliberation has been the central tool in planning the future of Geraldton, a city in Western Australia, and these efforts have just been recognized with an international award! Geraldton is the global winner in Livecom‘s Community Empowerment and Participation category.

2029 and Beyond is about planning for the future of Geraldton and the region around it. The project mobilises citizens, government and industry in the Greater Geraldton City Region, to collaboratively develop and implement sustainability plans.

NCDD member Janette Hartz-Karp has been central to integrating dialogue and deliberation in Geraldton’s community engagement. Congratulations Janette!

Over two years, an Alliance Governance Group of community, industry and government has overseen the participation process and prioritised proposals for implementation. They have been supported by volunteer Community Champions, trained and instigating dialogue and deliberation in the community. The Greater Geraldton City has led the process, partnering with Curtin University Sustainability Policy playing a key role in designing, training and evaluating the process.

“I really feel this is the direct result of some wonderful collaborative work between the community and the city, said Geraldton City CEO Tony Brun. “I think the award really is a reflection of the enormous amount of work which has been contributed by our city staff and importantly the great amount of community input we have received.”

Geraldton also received silver in the 2011 LivCom awards for the world’s most Liveable Communities for 20–75,000 population. Read their submission. Gold was awarded to Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm.

The Livcom Awards, initiated in 1997 and endorsed by the United Nations Environment Program, is an international competition for cities that are managing the environment while improving residents’ quality of life by creating “liveable communities”. Judges evaluated 77 finalist cities from 26 countries during the largest event so far in the award’s 15-year history.

Over 4000 people have been actively involved in 2029 and Beyond through innovative techniques in civic deliberation such as:

  • world cafés
  • a deliberative poll/survey
  • online deliberation (civic evolution)
  • social media
  • conversation cafes
  • 21st century town hall meetings™/deliberations
  • enquiry-by-design/charrette
  • precinct by precinct community planning deliberations (just commencing)
  • community events to celebrate milestones including BBQs, forshore parties, art gallery and library evening drinks

Geraldton was also a finalist in the international Reinhard Mohn Prize 2011 for revitalizing democracy.

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Susanna Haas Lyons
Susanna Haas Lyons is a public engagement specialist. Bridging online and face-to-face methods, she develops strategy & provides training for better conversations between the public and decision makers.

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