03.08.12 – Becoming social   Leave a comment

When it comes to strategy, sustainability, collaboration, social media and crowd-sourcing for better outcomes are increasingly finding their way into conversations. A more participatory mode of strategy development   can help improve final outcomes by pulling in diverse perspectives that can enrich plans and provide greater oversight and insight.

So it is that I find myself on the steering committee for the Sydney Coastal Council’s Group, “Becoming Social” project.

The Sydney Coastal Councils Group is a voluntary Regional Organisation of Councils (ROC), established in 1989 to promote coordination between Member Councils on environmental issues relating to the sustainable management of the urban coastal environment.

The Group consists of 15 Councils adjacent to Sydney marine and estuarine environments and associated waterways (Botany Bay, Hornsby, Leichhardt, Manly, Mosman, North Sydney, Pittwater, Randwick, Rockdale, Sutherland, Sydney, Warringah, Waverley, Willoughby and Woollahra). The Group represents over 1.3 million Sydneysiders and covers 1346 km2.

Over the past 50 years Sydney’s coastal zone has witnessed significant increases in both population and tourism and intensive residential, industrial and commercial development. The development and use of the sometimes fragile coastal ecosystems has led to the gradual degradation of these resources. The high population density of Sydney continuously threatens the remaining extremely sensitive natural coastal areas.

In response, the SCCG has been awarded a NSW Environmental Trust grant to help Councils increase their understanding of the social media space and provide guidance on when, what and how to utilise social media effectively to facilitate active community participation in environmental matters.

Can Councils overcome inherent barriers and become empowered to use these tools with confidence and to their full potential? Can social media help unlock opportunities to engage passive observers and increase community engagement? These are some of the questions we will be addressing!

Shane Gladigau

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