Port Phillip is known for its valued contribution to the arts and has a long history as a generator of creativity. It hosts some of Melbourne’s most iconic venues including the Espy, the Prince of Wales and the National Theatre. St Kilda is a long-established centre for entertainment and creative production and South Melbourne attracts creative businesses from far and wide. Critical to the ongoing success of creative businesses is the availability of affordable and suitable creative spaces.
In 2018, Port Philip developed their arts and culture strategy – Art and Soul – Creative and Prosperous City Strategy. This strategy articulated a series of actions to foster conditions that sustain and grow a thriving eco-system. It identified the importance of providing a range of suitable and affordable creative spaces in Port Phillip and found that increasingly, creative practitioners were looking outside of Port Phillip for suitable spaces.
Our approach focused on establishing a digital map that identified and categorised all the creative spaces in the neighbourhood. The methodology included mapping all creative spaces in Port Phillip (over 400 spaces) and categorising these spaces by industry and based on the user’s interest – advocating, experiencing, making or learning. The outcomes of this map would be twofold, firstly to establish an evidence base to address issues related to affordability, diversity and suitability of creative spaces and secondly to create a resource for the local community and creative practitioners to connect.
The Creative Port Phillip Map is now a publicly available digital resource for the creative community in Port Phillip. This map is the first step in establishing a four-year action plan in consultation with the community that addresses the affordability of local creative spaces. The digital map is a valuable platform that increases the visibility of local creative practitioners, provides an opportunity for them to connect and allows local government to advocate for the increased provision and protection of creative spaces.
Shrine to Sea
Hodyl & Co collaborated with community engagement specialists Renton and Co to connect community engagement and master planning outcomes during the planning stages of the Shrine to Sea project. Shrine to Sea is a project focused on creating a boulevard connecting the Domain Gardens to Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne. The project aims to enhance the existing open and green space, create safer pedestrian and cycling connections, and celebrate local stories and culture. The Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning worked in partnership with the City of Port Phillip, the Department of Transport, and Parks Victoria to deliver the project.
Hodyl & Co worked to ensure engagement and design and planning processes are developed together to deliver a community-supported outcome that will provide benefit to the existing community for generations to come.
As part of this project, Hodyl & Co have also utilised social research methods to design a Community Panel Selection Methodology based on establishing a diverse membership, and a Community Engagement Evaluation Methodology to evaluate all community engagement processes undertaken as part of the Shrine to Sea project.