Detailed mapping of Cumberland’s cultural assets

Embracing culture, diversity and arts to enhance liveability in Cumberland

Cumberland Council

Cumberland Cultural Plan

Cumberland is a unique area, with a culturally-rich and diverse community with over 65% of people speaking a non-English language at home; 600 local community cultural groups, and a significant Indigenous Heritage.

To better understand and plan for this diverse community’s vibrant cultural life, in 2018, the newly-amalgamated Cumberland Council engaged Cred to work collaboratively with Council, community and stakeholders to deliver a 10-year Cultural Plan to promote access to arts and culture, and contribute towards making Cumberland an even greater place to live, work and visit.

Two local community members at a workshop event

Cred worked with the local community and Council to create a Cultural Strategy that contributes towards making Cumberland an even greater place to live, work and visit.

How we did it

Cred’s approach was to unpack what ‘culture’ means to this highly-diverse community in Western Sydney.

Our study included extensive research, including detailed mapping of Cumberland’s cultural assets (people, places, economy and environment) and analysis of policy context and leading practice cultural planning trends.

We also undertook a collaborative multi-stage engagement process to facilitate genuine discussions with community and stakeholders, including through online surveys; an online collaborative mapping tool through Social Pinpoint and workshops with Creatives, the community and Council Staff.

A detailed map of Cumberland's unique neighbourhoods.

Cumberland’s unique neighbourhoods, mapped (Source: Cred).

The outcome

Our work revealed a strong focus on street life, food, dance and music as important pathways to social connection and cohesion as this area grows and changes and the plan will preserve and enhance the unique character and identity of Cumberland.

Together with Council staff and the community, Cred co-designed strategies and actions and, importantly, identified performance indicators to measure outcomes over the duration of the Plan, which responds to and celebrates what makes the Cumberland area unique.

The Plan has already produced social and planning outcomes, built community and cultural capital and capacity, and will inform Council’s planning of programs, services, operations and infrastructure in arts and culture, as well as place based town centre focused initiatives such as place activation and business engagement.