Evolving governance model for community building: Collaborative partnerships in master planned communities
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The development and management of master planned communities (MPCs) involve achieving the twin goals of building a sense of community and creating a distinctive place. The roles of private, public and community sectors in realising these goals of MPCs are evolving over time. The article reports on a case study of the MPC of Varsity Lakes in Gold Coast to investigate the role of key stakeholders as well as their collaborative initiatives for community building. It examines the community governance model being introduced by the developer for the management of the development once the developer has completed work on the MPC and moved on. Some of the key initiatives on community building in Varsity Lakes include establishing a community bank, setting up a community intra-net and developing local economic development strategies. The developer has also taken a proactive approach of establishing a not-for-profit company, Varsity Lakes Community Limited (VLCL), with representation from residents, business, community groups and education providers in the area. The VLCL provides a basis for a community governance model to be applied for the management of the development after the developer exits the scene. The case study provides important lessons for effective governance of MPCs with greater community leadership and community ownership and engagement.
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