1000minds played a key role in Dunedin City Council’s (DCC) and WSP’s St Clair to St Kilda Coastal Plan engagement project, which was judged “Australasian Project of the Year” at the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2)’s Core Value Awards 2021 for its excellent community engagement in the project’s decision-making process.
The project, titled “Whakahekerau – Rakiātea Rautaki Tai: A community’s vision for a resilient coast,” focuses on finding solutions for managing the St Clair to St Kilda beaches along the Dunedin coast (New Zealand) which are under increasing threat from serious coastal erosion.
As sand has been lost over the last few decades, the beaches’ recreational and other amenity values have been stripped away too. Dangerous landfill buried in the sand dunes last century has also been exposed. These harms are likely to increase as sea levels rise in the future, including risking parts of the city itself. A coastal management plan is urgently needed.
Central to the project’s goals was community participation in the decision-making process, in order to create a vision for the coastline’s future that reflects the diverse range of interested groups: e.g. local residents, businesses, surfers, beach walkers, environmentalists, ratepayers, etc.
1000minds facilitated this process through several conjoint analysis surveys. These surveys elicit preferences by asking participants to make trade-offs with respect to the achievement of different community objectives associated with possible future outcomes for the beaches.
In addition, confronting these trade-offs helped participants understand the complexity involved in developing a coastal management plan and built trust through its transparency. According to the project organizers, “transparency was key to running a clear, upfront and honest process.”
The project also won an additional award for “Planning” in IAP2’s Core Value Awards.
“Adaptive planning for an uncertain future is difficult, but we are proud to have engaged our community early in the process and to have provided the community with genuine opportunities to contribute to objective setting, plan direction and ultimately what gets done,” DCC and WSP said in their written case study.
“1000minds is an accessible tool that in the field of public participation could be used in other projects to encourage direct involvement in project team decisions.”
IAP2’s Core Value Awards recognize projects that involve strong public participation in making decisions that affect the public.
Also see the full case study detailing the St Clair to St Kilda Coastal Plan engagement project.
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