Connect - the generational approach to activate sustainability

Kirsten Davies, Jennie Cramp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


This paper outlines a new public planning model, which has the core aims of building stronger human and environmental relationships and behaviours through equitable community participation in sustainability planning and decision making processes. Equity is achieved by seeking out and including the voices of people whom are not usually heard in public planning processes, such as children. This generational approach cuts through educational, socio-economic, gender, special needs and ethnic barriers by the formalised age-based grouping system. The generational method has been developed in 2006-07 and applied in Ku-ring-gai, a local government area within the Sydney region. The recently completed Ku-ring-gai to global sustainability plan involved 200 residents within 7 age groups between 9 and 99 years contributing towards Ku-ring-gai’s future by taking part in face to face interviews, focus groups and forums. Participants were purposefully selected, not only by age, but also by gender, and their ability to represent differing community sectors. The initial interview and focus group steps separated residents into their age groups to assist in capturing a deeper understanding of generational perspectives this included the historical knowledge of the elderly through to the future dreams and concerns of young people. The visioning process culminated in two intergenerational forums where participants spanning all age groups came together to discuss their collective visions. Themes surrounding human relationships with local ecology were explored and have been included in the findings of this paper. The generational model has the potential to assist government agencies in the designing of community participatory processes and human behavioural change to assist environmental conservation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunity development and ecology
Subtitle of host publicationengaging ecological sustainability through community development : selected papers from a conference held in Melbourne, 26-28 March 2008
Place of PublicationMelbourne
PublisherDeakin University
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9781741561197
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventCommunity Development and Ecology Conference - Melbourne
Duration: 26 Mar 200828 Mar 2008


ConferenceCommunity Development and Ecology Conference


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