Place-making is a great way for communities to get together and take responsibility for creating opportunities or solving problems in their neighbourhoods. They can create and build networks, channel energy and facilitate local creativity and innovation.

Before you begin

Why are you doing this?

A useful first step is to understand if there is an identified need that the proposed place, thing or event will meet and if there is a shared community desire for it. It is also important to consider who will lead and drive the project. Good project planning is needed to turn ideas into achievable actions and clear deliverables.

What do you want to achieve?

Consider both the process and the end result. Successful community projects are inclusive and collaborative. They are just as successful at building community and individual capacity and connections as they are at creating places, things or events.

Who is available to help?

People are the most important resource in a project. Consider who will lead the various steps. Who are the other people, groups and agencies that might contribute the necessary energy, time, commitment, creativity, diversity, skills, knowledge, experience, connections to business and other community members, project management, financial and material resources, labour, and guardianship?

Are there existing groups that do or have done similar projects? Christchurch is full of passionate people doing great work in their communities. Ask around to see if there is a group that you can join or get involved in your project. People from groups that have successfully created projects can also be a great mentoring source.

How much time will it take? 

The amount of time required to plan, design and deliver a project can vary greatly depending on what it involves. Sometimes it is the smallest or unexpected things which can hold a project up. See Place-making ideas and local success stories to get an idea of what you need to allow for in terms of timeframe. Don't be put off if the timeframe is longer than expected. Often the best results come from taking the time to connect with others to plan and promote your project.

Talk to your local Council Community Development Advisor (CDA(external link)) or Community Recreation Advisor (CRA)(external link) about your idea and the things you may need to consider.

Which tools will you use?

There are a range of tools available to help you plan, design and deliver your project. Before getting started, identify which tools you’ll use to deliver the best results. See Helpful tools, resources and organisations.

What size budget do you need?

This will vary greatly depending on what you are planning to do. It is a good idea to have at least a small budget to account for possible venue hire or materials. See Funding your project.

You can also ask your local CDA/CRA(external link) for advice on sources of funding for your project and how to access free or discounted community equipment and resources. 

What potential issues or problems may occur?

A number of issues or problems may occur when implementing your project, whether anticipated or unexpected. These may be generated by division within the community, by the need to obtain access to the project site, obtain regulatory consents and/or secure funding and other assistance. The following may assist:

Issue or problem Tips to consider
No support from local community.

Discuss your idea with others in the community. Does your project need to be tweaked to encourage wider community buy-in?

Think about existing community groups in your area that could help you to develop your idea.

Use the Council’s CINCH database, or talk to your local Community Development or Recreation Advisor (CDA/CRA(external link)), to find any such groups.

Starting a new group when an existing group is doing a similar project.

Consider joining or working with the existing group on this project. One group is a lot more effective than two groups working separately. You also don't want to split community time, energy and money on two projects.

Engaging with the Council.

The Council is a big organisation with many functions and sometimes conflicting processes and requirements. Your local CDA/CRA(external link) is able to help you find the right people to talk to.

Obtaining necessary land owner permissions and/or regulatory consents.


  • If the project site is publicly or privately owned. If you plan on using any Council spaces or assets it is likely that you’ll need some form of landowner permission and public liability insurance.
  • The District Plan zoning of the project site, as this could impact on activities and any buildings or structures proposed, e.g. they may require resource consent.
  • Any buildings or structures proposed, as they may require building consent.
  • If the nature of the activity requires any other regulatory consent (e.g. park booking, event permit, temporary road closure, traffic management plan, lighting plan).

Contact your local CDA/CRA(external link) to run through your idea first before you commit too much time, cost and effort to it. They can help you find out what, if anything, is required and how to get it sorted.

Meeting criteria for funding assistance.

Your local CDA/CRA(external link) can help you identify potential funding sources and advise on how your project could meet the associated eligibility criteria.

Expecting the Council to make your idea happen.

The Council doesn’t have the capacity to do everything and must focus its limited resources in identified priority areas. Are there people with enthusiasm, energy and commitment in your community who can help to lead and deliver place-making projects?

Contact your local CDA/CRA(external link) for advice as to the extent to which the Council may be able to help, if needed.


The process

Every community-led place-making project is different and the process of achieving it often is too.

Most place-making projects generally follow these steps

1. Getting started

Determine what you want to do, why, who is available to help, how long it will take, what size budget you’ll need and if an ongoing commitment is required. This could include preparing a feasibility study and/or business plan.

In addition to advice from the Council, there are a number of helpful tools, resources and organisations including:


2. Identify issues

A vacant piece of land with sparse grass and gravelThink about the issues and evaluate the proposed space for your project. This could include a SWOT analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. 

Helpful tools, resources and organisations include:

4. Identify constraints

Determine what potential issues or problems may occur as the project unfolds. These may include seeking landowner permissions and/or regulatory consents.

In addition to advice from the Council, helpful tools, resources and organisations include:

5. Obtain funding

Think about creative solutions or potential partners that can contribute to your project and help keep costs down. 

(external link)Sources of funding your project could include:

  • Council funding sources.
  • Non-Council funding sources.

6. Delivery

What are the things that need to happen to ensure your project is delivered successfully? In addition to advice from the Council, see helpful tools, resources and organisations.

7. Implement

The delivery of a community plan, for example, may anticipate the implementation of capital works by the Council (physical works, such as new buildings, street upgrades etc.)

Contact your local CDA/CRA(external link) about how to try to get the community’s objectives onto the Council’s radar for funding and implementation. There may also be some other capital works planned that your project could fit in with. 


Contact us

The Council’s local Community Development and Community Recreation Advisors (CDAs and CRAs) are based within the seven community board areas. They can be a good first contact to run through your project and help you identify what is needed.

They can assist by connecting you to other areas of the Council to help with information and any Council requirements, such as regulatory consents.

Community Development Advisors (CDAs)

CDAs provide a range of services and support for community-led projects, including:

  • information about existing strategic plans and community facilities and spaces;
  • initial connections to the right people in the Council, e.g. the Council unit which 'owns' assets such as public parks and other infrastructure like roads and street furniture;
  • ongoing contact with you, including facilitating meetings/contact with the Council’s asset owner;
  • advice about making connections within and engaging with your local community;
  • workshop facilitation;
  • advice about skills development and capacity-building within the community;
  • support with problem-solving;
  • advice about how to prepare a feasibility study and/or business plan;
  • information about likely costs and assistance with identifying possible funding sources; and
  • advice on how to get community board support for your project and funding for any associated capital works.

Community Recreation Advisors (CRAs)

CRAs support community recreation and sporting groups and organisations to strengthen and create opportunities for people to be more active more often.

They do everything the CDAs do, as well as:

  • support the organising and running of community events, including information about community facilities and spaces; and
  • help develop skills for communities looking to run their own recreation activities.


Ward Phone Email
Andrea Wild
Community Development Advisor
Banks Peninsula
(Lyttelton/Mt Herbert)
03 941 5605
027 205 3769
Philipa Hay
Community Development Advisor
Banks Peninsula
(Lyttelton/Mt Herbert)
03 941 5604
Trisha Ventom
Community Recreation Advisor
Banks Peninsula
(Lyttelton/Mt Herbert)
03 941 5642
Rym Lamrani
Community Development Advisor
Banks Peninsula
03 941 5200
027 241 3332
Jane Harrison
Community Development Advisor
Banks Peninsula
03 941 5688
027 206 8790
Emily Toase
Community Development Advisor
Coastal-Burwood Wards 03 941 5216
Rory Crawford
Community Development Advisor
Coastal-Burwood Wards 03 941 7069
027 267 3778
Jacqui Miller
Community Recreation Advisor
Coastal-Burwood Wards 03 941 5333
027 637 7927
Natalie Dally
Community Development Advisor
Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Wards 03 941 5326
027 220 7248
Karen Boag
Community Development Advisor
Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Wards 03 941 5273
Lisa Gregory
Community Recreation Advisor
Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Wards 03 941 6729
027 227 3064
Fay Collins
Community Development Advisor
Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Wards 03 941 5108
Bailey Peterson
Community Development Advisor
Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Wards 027 279 5053
Sam Savage
Community Recreation Advisor
Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Wards 03 941 6889
Cathy Sweet
Community Development Advisor
Linwood-Central-Heathcote Wards 03 941 6688
027 200 9425
Jae Youn Lee
Community Recreation Advisor
Linwood-Central-Heathcote Wards 03 941 6503
Trevor Cattermole
Community Development Advisor
Papanui-Innes Wards 03 941 5407
027 706 9016
Stacey Holbrough
Community Development Advisor
Papanui-Innes Wards 03 941 8102
027 229 4156
Helen Miles
Community Recreation Advisor
Papanui-Innes Wards 03 941 5409
027 490 7618
Jay Sepie
Community Development Advisor
Spreydon-Cashmere Wards 03 941 5102
027 204 0727
Heather Davies
Community Development Advisor
Spreydon-Cashmere Wards 03 941 5314
027 665 2541
Watene Hema
Community Recreation Advisor
Spreydon-Cashmere Wards

03 941 8074
027 524 1660