Planning through collaboration and participation

City of Parramatta

Parramatta Heart of Play community consultation + master plan

We know that western Sydney and especially City of Parramatta has limited amounts of open space, making it all the more so important to make existing spaces work harder to meet the diverse needs of this community.

The City of Parramatta plays an important role within Greater Sydney as the ‘second CBD’, and a focus area for new jobs and housing. With significant growth forecast, existing spaces will need to work harder to meet the needs of current and future residents.

Cred, in collaboration with Turf Design Studio, worked City of Parramatta and the local community and sports stakeholders to deliver a community-led ‘Heart of Play’ master plan as a blueprint for a community and culturally-responsive public space and recreation network connecting seven open spaces in North Parramatta.

“Chalk to Us” blackboard on site for engagement during lockdown

How we did it

Cred collaborated with stakeholders in creating a master plan that delivers a vibrant network of spaces that are loved by all sectors of the diverse community in Parramatta.

The project encompassed extensive engagement with various stakeholders to understand their open space sports and recreation perceptions, needs, wants and aspirations.

This included consultation with the general community; target groups such sports groups and organisations; culturally-diverse communities; dog owners and dog training clubs, as well as Council staff and other user groups. Our methods included face-to-face and online surveys, popup stalls, day and night-time walkshops, co-design and feedback workshops.

The outcome

Our innovative engagement process captured the voices of over 2000 community members, helping to shape a masterplan that will evolve with changing needs, and resulting in its unanimous adoption by Council, with strong support from community groups.

This participatory project put people at its centre through informing, consulting, involving and collaborating with them in co-designing a master plan, that results in a vibrant open space network that will become the heart of the community.

This project won Parks and Leisure NSW/ACT’s 2022 Strategic and Master Planning Award. This Award celebrates the leading practice demonstrated through this project, and its level of commitment to drive change and deliver improved environmental, social, health and wellbeing outcomes.

You can view the Heart of Play Masterplan at: