Module 11 – Governance, Power and Empowerment

The Governance, Power and Empowerment module explores how government structures and power dynamics impact place-based decision making. The module considers the legislative and regulatory systems that frame a project across multiple tiers of government. Students will understand top-down and bottom-up power structures, motivations and communication methods.

The module will consider how diverse stakeholder groups can influence, leverage and advocate within or around these governance structures. Supported by the ‘Systems of Place Agency’ chapter (Placemaking for the Built Environment book) the module uses a series of Australian and international case studies to propose six ways to leverage governance structures to achieve public benefit. The method used, responds directly to the regulatory-framework in place and how adaptive it is to the needs of the community. These systems of place agency, correspond to ways in which communities can enact the changes they want to see in their areas through placemaking initiatives.

Objectives of the Module

– To understand the role of government, legislative structures and regulatory systems in place-decision making
– To explore the ‘politics’ of place and the relative power dynamics of public and private actors
– To develop visual and practical tactics to make power structures legible through project processes
– To investigate the roles of civil society, community organising and activism

Key resources

The materials below are intended to support academics in embracing the materials created to teach the fundamentals of people in place. These should form a basis for you own subject, we suggest customising it with your own case studies and materials. The tutorial exercise will work best when students are working on a project consistently through the semester, either working through analysing a place for evaluation, or proposing new placemaking initiatives for a project.