Young people shaping future rural towns
Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) Chair, Cr Rob Gersch said the project will ask what sort of places are conducive to young people thriving, with the objective of delivering rural towns and communities to meet the needs and interests of future generations.
“The project will be piloted with two rural communities, to be announced at our Rural Summit on 16 and 17 April. We’ll also be doing a workshop with members and rural young people at the Summit,” Cr Gersch said.
“Rural towns and councils need to be attractive and hold promise for young people – they are the basis of social and economic sustainability going forward. Through this project we are going to ask young people from rural towns, who may or may not currently live in a rural community, about their values, hopes and the roles they can play to shape future rural communities.
“By engaging meaningfully with them now, councils can hopefully sow seeds that will attract young people back, even if they leave to study or seek broader life or work experience.
“As part of the project we will work with young people to build their capacity to question, design and participate in future planning, development and placemaking processes.”
The project will seek the input of young people, councils and communities in pilot communities throughout April and May to develop plans for their future places. Informed by this experience, RCV will also produce a toolkit of practical, implementable ideas to inspire and support other rural councils and communities.
The aim of Tomorrow Towns is to build the capacity of rural councils by:
• identifying relevant resources to support councils engaging young people in future planning, development and placemaking activities
• identifying resource gaps and developing solutions
• providing practical and implementable ideas and examples to inspire rural councils and communities.
RCV has engaged SED Advisory and ThinkUp to deliver the Tomorrow Towns project.
RCV is the alliance of Victoria’s 38 rural councils. It advocates for sustainable, liveable and prosperous rural communities and delivers projects that provide support and solutions on issues shared by the state’s rural councils.
Rural Councils Victoria is supported by the Victorian Government’s Networked Rural Councils program.