Mosman and Warringah Councils have won prestigious Awards at the Planning Institute of Australia’s (PIA) NSW Planning Excellence Awards.

Warringah Council received the PIA Award for ‘Talk of the Town 2010′ and Mosman Council received the Award for Urban Planning Achievement for the exhibition and consultation on its new local environmental plan.

Warringah Council – Media – Public / Professional Award for Talk of the Town 2010 Community Summit: Warringah’s Housing Future.

The PIA, the peak body representing professions involved in planning Australia’s cities, towns, regions and places, presented the award for ‘achievement in reporting and promoting planning issues in the public arena’ to Warringah Council who undertook a five-month campaign to ensure Talk of the Town was both representative of engaged the community of Warringah to determine the future of housing in the LGA.

Almost 500 Warringah residents and ratepayers attended a community summit (Talk of the Town) on Sunday 23 May, to help develop preferred directions to accommodate State housing targets of 10,000 extra dwellings as outlined in its North East Subregional Strategy. Participants used innovative keypad technology to vote and receive instant feedback on the issues discussed. There was also a panel discussion and other activities to get participants involved in the process.

“This is the third award Warringah has won for the innovative summit and highlights Council’s commitment and professionalism in engaging and communicating with our community,” said Warringah Mayor Michael Regan.

“Council recently won an award from the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) for ‘Robust Public Participation Process’ and was also Highly Commended for ‘Excellence in Engaging and Serving Communities’ at the Local Government Managers Australia 2010 Management Excellence Awards.

“All three awards acknowledge Warringah Council is leading the way in participatory decision making and I congratulate staff and community who were involved in Talk of the Town for their efforts and commitment,” Mayor Regan said.

Mosman Council – Urban Planning Achievement for Mosman LEP 2010

Mosman Council received the Award for Urban Planning Achievement for the exhibition and consultation on its new Local Environment Plan. The challenge for the planners was to make a standardised plan interesting to the local community. To do this a strategy was developed that incorporated traditional and new media to engage the community.

The consultation strategy included development a website that included various options for comments and submissions, interesting exhibition material, production of informative and fun films and promotional material, as well as post-exhibition evaluation of the project via survey, website stats and development of a short film on YouTube called “What is a planning exhibition in the 21st century?”

The community took advantage of the range of communication tools being used such that over half the community could claim to be aware of the exhibition.

“It’s fantastic to see councils in the SHOROC region represented and recognised for their high standard of planning. These awards highlight the innovative work being done by the SHOROC councils and an excellent opportunity to showcase our approach to planning and engaging communities” said President of SHOROC and Mosman Mayor Anne Connon.

Information about the PIA Awards is at http://www.planning.org.au/nsw