Principle 10: Well-managed

Well-managed and maintained public space functions better and invites people to use and care for it.

All public spaces require some form of management. Often, many stakeholders are involved, and different interactions or relationships will affect the quality of a public space and the priorities for managing the space.

Look into public space management and governance frameworks that clarify roles and responsibilities, and the right funding models and collaboration tools to make the best of the public space.

Consider all users – be sure not to restrict activities or behaviours that might be perceived as targeting those who have historically been excluded from public space, including young people, Aboriginal people and people experiencing homelessness.

In terms of financial sustainability, consider how to minimise long-term operating and maintenance costs. Smart infrastructure, systems and technology could also be used to manage public space more efficiently and cost-effectively. People want to feel their public space is a welcoming environment – it should be clean, well maintained and repaired as required.

Aboriginal peoples are experts in land management practices and their involvement should be a priority. This will also make sure that culturally significant places are respected and protected, and they have access to them for cultural practice.

Efficient and dynamic models of stewardship are built on shared ideas and community involvement. People will then feel more invested and willing to maintain, program, beautify and advocate for public space. Volunteer groups such as scouts and girl guides, local schools, sports and surf lifesaving clubs, bush care groups or citizen science networks are valuable community partners for managing public space.

This is an edited version of the charter. For the full text, please download: NSW Public Spaces Charter (PDF, 3.34 MB).