Step 1 Establish the scope, vision, objectives and evaluation criteria
A shared, place-based vision applies to a geographic area (defined as the study area for a project or plan) and incorporates the aspirations of relevant local and State government agencies as well as the people, communities, businesses, and other organisations connected with the place.
Establish the project scope and context
Information and data on the strategic social, environmental, and economic context for the plan or project (relevant to shaping the case for change), for example:
Understanding the broader context
Planning documents capturing community aspirations, policies, strategies, and plans relevant to the study area, particularly those that are supported by public consultation, such as local strategic planning statements.
Defined study area and area of influence
Understanding the broader context
Understanding the planning intent.
Identify the study area for the plan or project, including the wider strategic and geographic context and the area of influence. Recognise the spatial constraints.
Establish the core project team and the project governance arrangements, including review processes and decision-making roles (if this has not already been done).
Understand the study area’s broader context (spatial geography):
Review the social and cultural, environmental, and economic factors that influence the study area. This could be facilitated by a local place expert in a workshop environment.
Undertake site visits – observe people, the current environment, and how it works.
Understand the planning intent for the study area:
Review existing documented aspirations, policies, strategies, and plans relevant to the study area: this is the ‘policy context’ (in the Infrastructure NSW business case toolkit).
Confirm this policy context is current for the area, and identify any gaps such as policies and plans published since it was documented.
The ‘planning intent’ is the combination of the current known, planned, and likely interventions derived from the policy context that relate to the time horizon of the project or study (and may require interim steps in the case of long-term plans, generally every 5 to 10 years).
The ‘case for change’ for major investment in the study area is relevant to the planning intent e.g. a transport and mobility case for increasing public transport may change the desired street environment to one that best aligns with that investment.
Gather detailed and technical information. You may need to commission specialist reports; studies; data; assessments informed by the identified social and cultural, environmental, and economic factors – appropriate to the scope of the project.
The broader context (spatial geography) and policy context set the frame for the vision and objectives, to ensure they are strategically aligned and deliver intended outcomes.
Setting the vision and objectives at this stage also avoids unconscious bias towards solutions arising from detailed analysis (for example, an objective to ‘increase average speeds’ where a differential between posted and average speeds is identified, independent of context). However, recognising that detailed analysis helps identify gaps and refine outcomes, the core process provides an opportunity to revisit the problem definition in Step 4.5, to consider the issues and opportunities agreed in a multi-stakeholder workshop.
Synthesise or establish a shared, place-based vision
Publicly consulted documents that contain visions, objectives, and outcomes for places in the study area including relevant State and local government policies, strategies, and plans e.g. Premier’s Priorities, State priorities, local strategic planning statements, regional and district plans, and community plans.
Where there is not an existing vision, stakeholders and the community may need to shape this vision at the outset. See the advisory note Strategic visioning (GANSW 2018).
Identify the stakeholders who need to be involved in establishing the shared vision for the area, and organise workshops and/or meetings to bring them together.
In collaboration with the stakeholders:
Outline the planning intent for the study area.
Discuss, validate, and confirm which inputs will inform the vision.
Interpret and consolidate these inputs to agree on a shared, area-specific (place-based) vision for the study area.
Document the vision as a clear statement. A good vision should be specific and set the conditions for creating successful places, taking into account the people that use them.
In a business case, the vision can be described as a ‘driving principle’, informing and guiding objectives and evaluation criteria.
Identify objectives based on the vision
The objectives are the project’s or plan’s desired qualitative outcomes, derived from the vision. The objectives may be general or specific, depending on the plan or project.
Place-based vision for the study area.
List of place-based objectives for the project or plan.
Working as a group with the core team and stakeholders:
Determine a set of objectives based on the themes. Considerations might include:
How do the objectives contribute to the place vision by creating a well-designed built environment, i.e. an environment that is healthy, responsive, integrated, equitable, and resilient? Are any of the five themes particularly relevant to this context?
How can movement best support the vision?
How can place (both public space and other land use) best support the vision?
Do some objectives apply only to specific locations within the study area?
What needs to be maintained, reduced, or increased?
Ensure the objectives consider the wider strategic context (such as connectivity for people and goods to major centres) as applied to the local context (such as the street locations within the study area relevant to that strategic context).
Establish evaluation criteria for the objectives
Project or plan objectives
Any mandatory obligations specific to the project (e.g. s.22 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 in relation to design safety of a ‘workplace’)
Identify any supplementary or project-specific indicators that will be measured.
The NSW Movement and Place Framework also includes a standard list of supplementary indicators. These are not required for every project but can be selected by the project team according to the project context and objectives.
For example, a project objective to improve cycling within the study area would have a strong correlation with adopting a supplementary indicator of ‘cycling accessibility’. Supplementary indicators should be selected from the standard list to enable similar projects to be compared in the future.
Project-specific indicators can also be adopted at the project team’s discretion (in addition to the core and supplementary indicators) where the context and objectives cannot be addressed from the standard list. These are likely to be specific to the study area and spatial in nature.
For example, an objective to improve water quality in Example Creek would require a project-specific indicator such as ‘% of water filtration within the catchment’.
Identify thresholds for some of the indicators, as applicable. These may apply to core, supplementary, or project-specific indicators.
Thresholds may be set to quantify the minimum desired outcome. A threshold may be either a project-specific target, which must also be determined, or a pre-determined benchmark establishing a minimum standard, that the project team chooses to adopt. Where bench-marks exist that relate to the study area, project teams are encouraged to adopt those benchmarks.
These may also be useful in Steps 5 and 6, to prioritise issues and opportunities, and to compare options against the current state and against each other.
The following Steps 2 and 3 – understanding place and understanding movement – are not necessarily linear processes; they may happen in parallel. The information gained from one may feed into the other, and each should consider the other. For example, understanding place includes spatial analysis of movement networks, and understanding movement includes analysing the routes and destinations served, including stops, interchanges, and walking space.