Welcome to our comprehensive collection of research summaries, where we delve into the dynamic and multifaceted world of local government. This curated selection offers insightful overviews of recent scholarly articles, each meticulously analysed to provide you with a clear understanding of the latest trends, challenges, and innovations in local governance. From urban planning and public policy to community engagement and fiscal management, these summaries encapsulate the essence of cutting-edge research, shedding light on how local authorities are navigating the complexities of modern administration.
We are equipped to create detailed literature reviews focusing on the policy implications of any topic for councils or organisations. These reviews are designed to inform decision-making processes, highlighting relevant research and its practical applications in the realm of local governance. If you or your organisation are interested in commissioning such a literature review, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
Whether you are a policy maker, academic, or an interested citizen, these summaries serve as a valuable resource for staying informed about the evolving landscape of local government.
Advancing LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Urban Policy: Implications for Local Government Practice
Date of Original Article: 06/12/2023
Keywords: LGBTQIA+ Inclusion, Urban Policy, Local Government, Public Spaces, Wellbeing, Community Engagement
This summary synthesises the findings of a recent study examining the impact of LGBTQIA+ inclusive urban policy and planning on the health and wellbeing of LGBTQIA+ communities within local government areas (LGAs) in Australia. The research highlights the need for local governments to adopt more inclusive practices and provides a framework for creating safer and more welcoming public spaces for LGBTQIA+ individuals.
|Aust J Public Adm - 2023 - Taylor - Governing Greater Sydney The democratic promise and contention of local governments.pdf
Exploring Democratic Deficits in Local Government Integration: The Case of Greater Sydney's Metropolitan Planning
Date of Original Article: 23/08/2023
Keywords: Metropolitan Governance, Local Government Policy, Democratic Networked Governance, Greater Sydney Commission, Metropolitan Planning Reform, Local Government Integration
The article examines the democratic implications of metropolitan planning reforms in Greater Sydney, focusing on the integration of local governments within the broader strategic framework led by the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC). It scrutinises the balance between effective governance and democratic legitimacy, particularly in light of the GSC's role in coordinating planning efforts across various levels of government.
Strategic Policy Development for Local Government: A Comprehensive Analysis
Date of Original Article: 23/04/2023
Keywords: Local Government, Policy Development, Strategic Planning, Public Administration, Governance
This article provides an in-depth examination of the strategic policy development processes within local governments. It highlights the importance of a structured approach to policy-making, considering the complex challenges faced by local authorities in the UK. The summary outlines the key findings and offers insights into the implications for local government practice.
Strategic Insights for Local Government: Navigating Policy Implications in Community Development
Date of Original Article: 15/04/2023
Keywords: Local Government Policy, Community Development, Strategic Planning, Housing Affordability, Infrastructure, Sustainable Economy
This summary provides an analytical perspective on the policy implications of community development within local government frameworks. It highlights the challenges and opportunities faced by local authorities in fostering sustainable growth, addressing housing affordability, and investing in infrastructure. The article underscores the importance of strategic planning and collaboration among stakeholders to achieve a diverse and resilient local economy.
Advancing Health Equity in Local Government: Insights from Victoria, Australia
Date of Original Article: 22/03/2023
Keywords: Health Equity, Local Government Policy, Social Determinants of Health, Priority Populations, Equity-Focused Policy Action
This summary provides an overview of a study exploring how local government representatives in Victoria, Australia, approach equity in the development and implementation of health and wellbeing policies and programs. The study identifies potential enablers for strengthening an equity focus within local governments, which are well-positioned to address health inequities due to their close community connections and increasing preventive health remit.
|Barriers and opportunities for medium density housing in small regional cities stakeholder perspectives from Cairns.pdf
Exploring the Dynamics of Medium Density Housing in Regional Cities: Insights from Cairns
Date of Original Article: 22/03/2023
Keywords: Medium Density Housing, Regional Urban Planning, Sustainable Development, Cairns, Stakeholder Analysis, Local Government Policy
This summary provides an overview of an academic article that examines the challenges and prospects of medium density housing (MDH) in small, regional cities, with a focus on Cairns, Australia. The article highlights the importance of MDH in promoting sustainable urban growth and maintaining the liveability of lower-density urban forms. It also delves into the barriers to affordable and diverse MDH implementation in suburbs with access to employment and services. The research is based on a case study approach, including semi-structured interviews with 19 stakeholders from the public and private sectors, offering a comprehensive analysis of the regional context and its implications for local government practice.
Exploring the Urban Divide: Neoliberalism and Planning Policy Implications in Sydney's Local Governance
Date of Original Article: 06/02/2023
Keywords: Urban Planning, Neoliberalism, Local Government, Policy, Sydney, Socio-economic Inequality, Urban Divide
This summary provides an overview of the academic article by Farid Uddin and Piracha, which examines the socio-economic division in Sydney, Australia, through the lens of urban planning. The study hypothesises that the urban planning system and its practice-produced consequences promote inequalities in Sydney. The research is grounded in the critical concepts of neoliberalism, the theory of power, and the right to the city, and is based on semi-structured interviews, secondary documents, and data analysis. The paper underscores the importance of a just city and robust community engagement to mitigate the disparate urban policy practices influencing urban divides in Sydney.
Exploring the Impact of Integrated Planning and Reporting Reforms on Local Governance in Australia
Date of Original Article: 20/12/2022
Keywords: Integrated Planning and Reporting, Local Government, Policy Reform, Community Engagement, Strategic Planning, Australia
This summary examines the transformative effects of Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) reforms on local governance in Australia. It highlights the shift towards community-centric decision-making and the potential for these reforms to be scaled up to a national level. The IP&R framework has empowered local communities to actively participate in shaping their future, ensuring that their voices are central to the strategic planning process.
|Making global local Global methods local planning and the importance of genuine community engagement in Australia.pdf
Enhancing Local Governance: Strategic Cultural Planning and Authentic Community Engagement in Australia
Date of Original Article: 12/11/2022
Keywords: Local Government, Community Engagement, Cultural Planning, Co-Design, Policy Design, Strategic Planning, Public Value
This summary examines the innovative approach taken by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council in New South Wales, Australia, to develop their new Cultural Plan amidst the challenges posed by COVID-19 restrictions. The council's initiative, which is a legislative requirement for strategic planning with documented community engagement, serves as a case study for the application of global design methods in local planning contexts. The research combines a modified Design Thinking model, Co-Design Principles, and the Harvard Kennedy School's Public Policy Design Arc to explore the potential for enhancing the capacity of council staff and community representatives in strategic planning and genuine community engagement.
Exploring Place-Shaping and the Evolving Role of Local Government in Tasmania: A Policy Review for Practitioners
Date of Original Article: 01/06/2022
Keywords: Local Government, Place-Shaping, Policy Review, Tasmania, Community Development, Local Democracy, Service Delivery
The Tasmanian Policy Exchange has produced a comprehensive report examining the concept of place-shaping and its implications for the future role of local government in Tasmania. This report delves into the significance of place in the context of rapid social, economic, and technological changes, highlighting the potential for local government to play a pivotal role in fostering strong, connected, and sustainable communities. It underscores the importance of local government in responding to diverse community needs and suggests that councils can serve as central figures in community-focused, place-shaping processes.
|Building Community Engagement Capacity - Summary_0.pdf
Enhancing Local Government Community Engagement Practices in Oregon
Date of Original Article: 01/06/2022
Keywords: Local Government, Community Engagement, Policy Development, Capacity Building, Oregon
This summary presents the findings of a study focused on the methods employed by local governments in Oregon to enhance their capacity for community engagement. The research encompasses a comprehensive literature review, interviews with over thirty government staff, elected officials, and practitioners, and an analysis of various community engagement practices. The study aims to identify the activities, skills, and organisational capacities that are being developed at the local level to implement and sustain effective community engagement programs.
Enhancing Local Government and Health Sector Collaboration: Insights from South Western Sydney
Date of Original Article: 20/04/2022
Keywords: Local Government, Public Health, Collaboration, Urban Planning, Health Equity, Policy Development, Qualitative Study
This summary outlines the findings of a qualitative study aimed at improving the effectiveness of collaboration between local governments and the public health sector, specifically the South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) and local councils. The study highlights the need for evidence-informed actions to address health inequities and the potential value of partnerships in achieving overlapping goals of both sectors.
|Governance and Sustainability in Local Government.pdf
Enhancing Governance and Sustainability in Local Government: Insights from Victoria's Legislative Reforms
Date of Original Article: 12/04/2022
Keywords: Local Government, Governance, Sustainability, ESG, Ethics, Culture, Policy, Victoria, Legislation, Accountability
The academic article by Armstrong & Li examines the challenges faced by local government councils in Victoria, Australia, as highlighted by the Victorian Auditor General's Office (VAGO) Reports 2021. These challenges include conflicts of interest, manipulation of land deals, and a lack of independence, leading to the introduction of the Local Government Act 2020 (VIC). The article discusses the implications of this new legislation for governance, risk management, accountability, organisational culture, leadership, and community engagement within local councils. It also explores the balance of economic, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns in creating sustainable governance structures that meet community needs.
|November event report_final.pdf
Strategic Insights for Local Government: Fostering Healthy, Sustainable, and Equitable Food Systems
Date of Original Article: 19/11/2021
Keywords: Local Government, Food Systems, Policy, Sustainability, Health Equity, Community Engagement, Strategic Planning
This summary synthesises the findings from a workshop titled "Healthy, sustainable, equitable food systems: The role of local government," which focused on the role of Australian local governments in creating robust food systems. The workshop highlighted the challenges and opportunities faced by local governments in New South Wales and Victoria, drawing on policy mapping studies and case analyses. The discussions centred on barriers to action, enablers of success, and practical steps for local governments to enhance their food system policies.
|Policy Internet - 2022 - Randell‐Moon - Too smart Infrastructuring the Internet through regional and rural smart policy.pdf
Enhancing Regional Connectivity: Smart Policy for Rural and Local Government in Australia
Date of Original Article: 07/10/2021
Keywords: Smart Infrastructure, Local Government, Regional Development, Internet Policy, Rural Connectivity, First Nations
This summary provides an overview of an academic article that examines the role of smart infrastructure in the liveability and viability of rural and regional towns in Australia. The study focuses on the Internet infrastructure and smart policy development in North West New South Wales, highlighting the experiences of local stakeholders, including shire councillors, land councillors, and consumers. The research reveals that regional and rural communities often face exclusion from the evidence base for smart technologies and services, and that local Aboriginal Land Councils play a crucial role in managing digital processes across different Countries.
Optimising Local Governance: Navigating Community Engagement in Times of Uncertainty
Date of Original Article: 01/06/2021
Keywords: Local Governance, Community Engagement, Postnormal Times, Policy Implications, Digital Engagement, Polylogues
This summary examines the collaborative research project between the Sunshine Coast Council (SCC) and the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), which explores innovative approaches to community engagement within the context of postnormal times. The study investigates the concept of polylogues as a means to navigate uncertainty and the role of local governance in facilitating these complex, multi-stakeholder conversations. The research is particularly relevant in light of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has necessitated a pivot towards digital engagement strategies.
Transformative Community Engagement: A New Model for Local Government Excellence
Date of Original Article: 25/05/2021
Keywords: Community Engagement, Local Government, Place-Based Approaches, Futures Studies, Partnership, Policy Implications
In an era of rapid societal changes and growing public expectations, local governments are tasked with the challenge of maintaining relevance and trust within their communities. This article summary explores the innovative community engagement practices developed by a local government organisation in collaboration with a regional university in Queensland, Australia. The emerging model is grounded in place-based approaches and futures studies, aiming to co-design locally appropriate responses to navigate uncertainty and change. The summary outlines the key policy implications for local government practice, focusing on the integration of community insights into decision-making processes and the development of a transformative model of excellence in engagement.
|Local Government Capacity and Land Use Planning for Natural Hazards A Comparative Evaluation of Australian Local Government Areas.pdf
Enhancing Local Government Land Use Planning for Natural Hazards: Insights from Australian LGA Comparative Study
Date of Original Article: 04/05/2021
Keywords: Local Government, Land Use Planning, Natural Hazards, Comparative Evaluation, Australian Local Government Areas, Policy Implications
This summary provides an overview of a study that evaluates the capacity of Australian Local Government Areas (LGAs) to incorporate land use planning for natural hazards. The research conducted by James McGregor, Melissa Parsons, and Sonya Glavac assesses the effectiveness of local governments in mitigating risks associated with natural hazards through planning practices. The findings highlight the varying levels of preparedness and planning across different LGAs, offering valuable insights for policy professionals seeking to enhance local government strategies in this critical area.
|Aust J Public Adm - 2021 - Hirst - Western Australia s Local Government Act 25 years on and under review A qualitative.pdf
Exploring the Impact of Western Australia's Local Government Act on CEO Job Security and Policy Practice
Date of Original Article: 17/01/2021
Keywords: Local Government, Policy Reform, CEO Job Security, Councillor Training, Public Sector, Western Australia
This summary provides an analysis of the qualitative study conducted on the perceptions of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) within Western Australian local governments regarding the Local Government Act 1995 (WA). The study highlights the significant impact of the Act on the roles and responsibilities of local government CEOs, councillors, and the community. It also offers practical recommendations for legislative changes to improve the functioning of local governments and address the concerns raised by the CEOs.
Exploring Recent Trends in Australian Local Government Reform: Implications for Policy Professionals
Date of Original Article: 23/12/2020
Keywords: Local Government Reform, Policy Implications, Australian Municipalities, Governance, Structural Reform, Financial Management, Accountability, Regional Cooperation
The article by Graham Sansom, published in the Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, examines the ongoing reforms within Australian local government, focusing on the period post-2013. It identifies six key themes: structural reform and regional cooperation, principles-based local government acts, roles and responsibilities of elected officials, revenue controls, financial and performance auditing, and integrity and accountability. The paper provides insights into the shift from structural reforms to a more nuanced approach that emphasises good governance, democratic accountability, and the strengthening of regional cooperation. It also discusses the implications of these reforms for local government practice and policy.
Strategies for Greyfield Regeneration: Medium Density Infill in Local Government Policy
Date of Original Article: 27/09/2020
Keywords: Greyfield Suburbs, Medium Density Residential Infill, Local Government Policy, Urban Regeneration, Municipality-Initiated Development, Resident-Supported Precincts
This article examines the shift towards municipality-initiated and resident-supported medium density residential infill regeneration in greyfield suburbs. It highlights the limitations of small lot subdivisions and proposes a more strategic approach to urban renewal that aligns with local government policy objectives.
Integrating Arts and Innovation: Policy Implications for Local Government in Geraldton's Creative Ecosystem
Date of Original Article: 19/05/2020
Keywords: Local Government Policy, Arts and Culture Strategy, Economic Development, Community Engagement, Arts Entrepreneurship, Cultural Tourism, Digital Connectivity, Regional Development, Public Funding, Innovation Ecosystem
The academic article provides an in-depth analysis of Geraldton, Western Australia's arts and culture ecosystem, highlighting its unique integration of arts, culture, and economic development. The city's strategic approach to arts funding, community engagement, and innovative business models for artists is examined, alongside the implications for local government policy and practice. The summary delves into the key characteristics of Geraldton's arts and culture scene, the role of public funding, and the interplay between arts and innovation, particularly through the local incubator, Pollinators. It also discusses the challenges faced by the arts community and the potential for cultural tourism as a driver of economic growth.
Strategic Learning as a Catalyst for Sustainable Transformation in Local Government: A Perth Case Study
Date of Original Article: 30/04/2020
Keywords: Sustainability, Local Government, Organisational Change, Education for Sustainable Development, Policy Innovation, Leadership
This summary provides an insight into the transformative role of strategic learning in embedding sustainability within a local government context, as evidenced by a case study from Perth, Western Australia. The longitudinal study, conducted between 2011 and 2016, explores the introduction of a sustainability policy and an education and culture change program within the City of Canning's local government. The case study highlights the significance of learning as a leverage point for achieving systemic sustainability change and offers a detailed account of the methods and impacts of the program, including the development of internal champions and the creation of a sustainability policy.
|Accountable to who to whom for what and how_ Unpacking Accounta.pdf
Exploring Accountability in Local Government Climate Policy: Implications and Challenges
Date of Original Article: 14/03/2020
Keywords: Local Government, Climate Change Response, Accountability, Policy Implications, Environmental Governance
This summary provides an overview of an academic article that examines the role of local government in addressing climate change through the lens of accountability. The study investigates the complex dynamics of who is accountable, to whom they are accountable, for what they are accountable, and how accountability is enacted within the context of local government responses to climate change. The findings highlight the influence of community demands, political cycles, and internal organisational structures on the level of accountability observed in local councils. The research contributes to the understanding of organisational initiatives in climate response and underscores the challenges faced by local governments in being accountable for environmental actions.
Enhancing Participatory Governance: Assessing Deliberative Engagement Reforms in Victoria's Local Government
Date of Original Article: 03/03/2020
Keywords: Deliberative Democracy, Local Government Reform, Participatory Governance, Victoria, Policy Implications
This summary examines the Victorian state government's attempt to legislate mandatory deliberative engagement within local government strategic planning. Despite the reform's ambition, it faced near-unanimous rejection from the local government sector. The analysis delves into the submissions from the 3-year Victorian Local Government Act Review process, highlighting the limitations and barriers to implementing such practices at the local government level. The findings suggest that while the concept of participatory democracy is appealing, there were significant contextual and capacity considerations that impeded the reform's implementation in Victoria.
Enhancing Local Government Emergency Preparedness: Evaluating Community Engagement Strategies
Date of Original Article: 01/01/2020
Keywords: Local Government, Emergency Management, Community Engagement, Policy Implications, Evaluation, Preparedness
This summary examines the critical role of community engagement in emergency management and the challenges faced by local government policy professionals in evaluating the effectiveness of such initiatives. The original article, based on a presentation at AFAC19, highlights the importance of helping communities recognise and prepare for natural hazards, a task that has become increasingly imperative in light of recent unprecedented summer temperatures and damaging bushfires in Australia. The study explores the current evaluation methods employed by community engagement practitioners and managers from Australian emergency management organisations, councils, and not-for-profit organisations, and suggests that while the importance of measuring engagement efforts is recognised, there is a lack of linkage between engagement activities and higher-level outcomes that influence communities.
Exploring the Evolution of Smart City Strategies in Sydney and Melbourne: A Comparative Analysis
Date of Original Article: 21/11/2019
Keywords: Smart City, Local Government Policy, Urban Technology, Sydney, Melbourne, Strategic Urban Planning
This summary examines the development and implementation of smart city initiatives in Sydney and Melbourne, focusing on the role of local governments in shaping the urban landscape through technology. The original article by Dowling, McGuirk, and Gillon (2019) provides an in-depth analysis of how smart city concepts are being operationalised within these metropolitan areas, highlighting the prevalence of piecemeal initiatives over comprehensive strategies. The study underscores the incremental transformation of cities and governance through smart urbanism, rather than radical overhauls.
Exploring the Commercialisation of Community Engagement in Local Government: Implications for Democracy
Date of Original Article: 19/11/2019
Keywords: Local Government, Community Engagement, Commercialisation, Participatory Governance, Policy Implications, Australian Local Democracy
The article by Helen E. Christensen & Bligh Grant examines the emerging trend of commercialising community engagement within Australian local governments. It highlights the increasing legislative requirements for councils to engage with their communities and the subsequent rise of an industry providing engagement services. The paper explores the potential risks this commercialisation poses to local governance and democracy, and calls for a deeper understanding of its impacts.
Enhancing Local Government Policy through Art and Science: The Painted River Project's Role in Cultural Transformation and Community Engagement
Date of Original Article: 01/08/2019
Keywords: Local Government Policy, Community Engagement, Cultural Transformation, Environmental Science, Water Resource Management, Art and Science Collaboration
The Painted River Project (PRP) represents an innovative approach to community engagement, combining art and environmental science to foster a cultural transformation in the perception and stewardship of river systems. This initiative aims to deepen the understanding of the critical role that water and river systems play in human health, well-being, and the health of the planet. By actively involving the community in participatory art-making and scientific water testing, the PRP explores the shared connection to water and place, offering tangible ways to address complex environmental challenges and prompting action towards sustainable solutions.
Strategic Coastal Management in Local Government: Navigating Policy and Practice in NSW
Date of Original Article: 13/05/2019
Keywords: Coastal Management, Local Government Policy, Strategic Planning, Environmental Law, New South Wales, Australia
This summary examines the evolving legal and policy framework for coastal management in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, with a focus on the role of local government. It highlights the transition from traditional land-use planning to strategic approaches in addressing both existing and future coastal damage. The paper underscores the need for local government planners to adopt more dynamic and innovative strategies, moving beyond restrictive zoning mechanisms. It also emphasises the importance of collaboration across all levels of government, recognising that regulatory planning alone is insufficient to tackle the complexities of coastal damage.
Enhancing Public Engagement in Local Government Planning: Insights from Australian Policy
Date of Original Article: 27/03/2019
Keywords: Local Government, Public Engagement, Strategic Planning, Policy Implications, Australia
This summary provides an analysis of public knowledge and involvement in metropolitan and local strategic planning within Australia. Despite the recognised importance of strategic planning in shaping the future of cities and regions, there is a notable gap between the public's perception of the significance of such plans and their actual awareness and involvement. This discrepancy presents a challenge for local government policy professionals aiming to enhance public engagement in the planning process.
Incorporating Smart Heritage into Local Government Smart City Strategies: An Analysis of Australian Policies
Date of Original Article: 01/01/2019
Keywords: Smart Heritage, Smart City, Local Government Policy, Australian Smart City Strategies, Heritage Integration
This summary examines the integration of Smart Heritage within smart city policies of three Australian local governments: Logan City Council, Lake Macquarie City Council, and Brisbane City Council. Smart Heritage, a concept that utilises the past to enhance smart city development, is subtly present in these policies, although not explicitly stated. The research identifies a need for more direct Smart Heritage provisions and initiatives, despite the theoretical overlap between the policies and the concept. The findings suggest that while Smart Heritage is not a focal point, there is potential for its further implementation within existing frameworks.
Strategic Implementation of Outdoor Exercise Parks: Enhancing Physical Activity in Older Adults
Date of Original Article: 19/10/2018
Keywords: Local Government Policy, Physical Activity, Older Adults, Public Health, Urban Planning, Community Engagement
The ENJOY project, aimed at promoting physical activity and social connectedness among older adults, involved the installation of specialised outdoor exercise equipment, known as the Seniors Exercise Park, and the delivery of a physical and social activity program. This summary reflects on the collaborative process with local governments and the community, highlighting challenges, lessons learnt, and strategies for future implementation to inform local government policy professionals.