Waroona Town Centre Revitalisation Strategy
Waroona’s town centre has seen little change and investment in the past few decades and has been losing visitation and local business to surrounding centres such as Harvey, Mandurah and Pinjarra. With a change in administration and leadership in recent years, the Shire is now motivated to forward-plan and prepare a comprehensive revitalisation strategy for the town centre to improve the vitality and economic growth of the Waroona town centre to create a place that visitors and locals can be proud of. It’s unique nestled position in the Peel region between the ocean and scarp just over an hour from Perth presents a unique ‘tree change’ lifestyle where you can enjoy the country on the doorstep of the city. Building on this aspect and the other qualities of Waroona has helped to provide the roadmap for revitalising the town centre from the short to longer term.
Based on our extensive experience in revitalisation of other regional town centres, element were appointed to prepare the Town Centre Revitalisation Strategy. This role included leveraging our capability in design, strategy, planning, engagement and place to uncover the unique qualities of Waroona, shared values amongst local stakeholders, motivations for visitation and use these to build robust strategies around an aligned vision that are able to be implemented, rather than become another report that just ‘sits on the shelf gathering dust’.
Our initial engagement scope uncovered a large amount of consistency amongst locals in both their concerns and issues with the existing town centre as well as their ideas for where to focus the energy of revitalisation. This enabled us to provide a clear vision, guiding place themes and objectives that resonated with stakeholders and the broader community. We used these tools to develop a set of strategies that covered areas such as wayfinding, identity and community – addressing both the aesthetics and the more intangible economic and social aspects of town centre revitalisation.
During the project, the Shire had the opportunity to acquire a consolidated area of land in the town centre to create a community space, a goal they had been aiming to achieve for many years. We assisted the Shire in developing a Design Brief for a consultant to further design the space. We also acquired a vision-keeping role to oversee its design development, ensuring it aligned with the town centre vision, strategies and captured the ideas that had been shared by the stakeholders and community.
This community precinct has now received funding and contributions to a total of $4.5m within two years of conception, with Stage 1 of the precinct underway. This helped build trust with the community and stakeholders that the Shire would act on and implement some of their ideas, and enabled more rigour to sit behind the more visionary strategies.
What We Delivered
- Stakeholder engagement – online and in-person
- Ongoing engagement with the local Town Centre Taskforce
- Place analysis
- Development of a unique vision, guiding place themes and revitalisation objectives
- A series of comprehensive revitalisation strategies
- Implementation framework to guide the realisation of the strategies from the short to long term
- Preparation of a Design Brief for a key community space
- Vision-keeping review role through the design development of a key community space