Bassendean Enquiry-By-Design / Consensus Forum
Bassendean Enquiry-By-Design / Consensus Forum
24 - 30 November 2001
The State Government determined that Bassendean would receive $5.5
million to upgrade the Bassendean Station as part of the 'Building
Better Train Stations Program'. This presented an opportunity for urban
renewal. To achieve this, the challenges of station design, station
precinct and revitalisation of the Main Street and town centre sites
needed to be examined holistically rather than in isolation. The aim
was to create a more liveable neighbourhood.
To focus on urban renewal, the Department of Planning and
Infrastructure, Town of Bassendean, WA Government Railways and Main
Roads WA agreed to work together on an Enquiry-by-Design Workshop
process. While Enquiry-by-Design has always utilised community input,
it was determined in this instance to engage the broader community in
the decision making process, incorporating the methodology of a
Enquiry-By-Design / Consensus Forum Phase 1, November 2001
- A set of station design centre scenarios, detailed option plans,
and design rationales
consensus decision made by the community, together with the Council, on
a preferred station precinct 'structure' and station access arrangement
- Greater understanding and ownership of the outcomes by the
community and other key stakeholders
Description of Enquiry by Design process
Enquiry-By-Design is an interactive process over several days (often
3) that seeks win-win solutions, using urban renewal best practice
principles and design. It incorporates the values and feedback of the
community stakeholders into evolving plans created by a multi
disciplinary team of technical experts. Usually, its findings are non
Description of Community Consensus Forum
A Consensus Forum involves a representative group of people
consisting of the key stakeholders, a random sample of residents and
those who self nominate. Participants are informed of the issues from
the varying points of view, then participate in small group dialogue
with others of diverse views. Using a variety of techniques,
participants search for common ground or consensus. The findings of the
forum are influential in the decision making process.
- Each of the key community and industry stakeholder groups from
the Bassendean area was invited to send representatives.
- A large random sample of residents from the Bassendean catchment
area received invitations to attend.
- Advertisements were put in the local newspapers for interested
Council members participated, as did representatives from WA Government
Railways, Main Roads WA and the Dept. for Planning and Infrastructure.
were approximately 80 representatives: 40 stakeholder representatives,
including a technical team, 20 representatives from the random sample
and 20 from the community advertisements.
- To brief participants about the enquiry by-design process
- To facilitate community input
- Community participants and multidisciplinary technical team
- Presentations on key planning issues
- Community dialogue focussed on three key questions:
- What do you see as the major planning problems in the
Bassendean Town Centre?
- What would you like to see changed in the Bassendean Town
- Why is the train station important and what would you like to
see changed for the station?
- To design strategies and options discussed on day 1
- Multidisciplinary technical team
- The multidisciplinary team agreed on the overall vision
were divided into sub groups including design of the station,
identification of other town sites that could be included in the urban
renewal, and an economic revitalisation strategy
- To complete an interim design review:
the community to gain a broad understanding of the issues involved in
the revitalisation project, including the impact of any decision on
- collecting views on further issues and concerns
regarding each of the revitalisation precincts and development
- Community participants and multidisciplinary technical team.
were allocated to each table. There was a facilitator briefing session
prior to the workshop, and comprehensive instructions were made
- Workshop participants were allocated to specific tables, with
each stakeholder group represented at each table.
- Maps of the precinct revitalisation options were placed on each
on one map at a time, each table was asked to think of any issue or
concern. Each was plotted on the relevant map with a number where it
- A brief description of the issue was then written up on the
- Facilitators gave a synopsis of their table's issues at the end
of the session.
- These issues were taken into account during the technical
team's work the following day.
- All issues were typed up for the following evening's community
- To establish preferences for
- Station structure - the opening or status quo for Old Perth
- Station access arrangements.
- To agree on how to proceed with the ideas for the wider town
The Council (convened separately); Community participants and
multidisciplinary technical team
Council was given the opportunity to veto any of the options developed.
Council was asked to decide if members could live with each of the
options if chosen by the community workshop. Any they could not live
with, they were asked to exclude from further deliberations. The
Council decided not to veto any option although several Councillors had
a particular problem with one.
- Advantages and
disadvantages for each option had been developed and Council was given
the opportunity to add or change this descriptive material. No changes
- The advantages and disadvantages were presented
to the community workshop and were distributed to each table. Each
table discussed them and made changes where necessary. These changes
were discussed at the plenary.
- The community workshop discussed and agreed upon definitions
for the triple bottom line criteria:
- economic impacts -
- community economic viability
- impact on businesses
- social impacts -
- environmental impacts -
- public amenity/integrated public transport
workshop prioritised the preferred structure and access options using a
Prioritisation Matrix, comparing the options against the triple bottom
line criteria. This resulted in a ranked order of preferences.
participants were invited to return early in 2002 to further discuss
urban renewal options and the design of the overpass.
Enquiry-By-Design / Consensus Forum
Phase 2, February 2002
- To enable further comment on designs for the broader town centre
- To commence the decision making process on a preferred option for
the station's appearance.
- Representatives from Phase 1 - community participants and the
multidisciplinary technical team
- The seating, facilitation arrangements, and provision of maps
outlining the precinct options were similar to Phase 1.
- An overview was given of the Enquiry-by-Design Phase 1 outcomes,
including progress on the risk management assessment.
process following the decision was explained - that the preferred
appearance option would form the basis of the station architect's
brief; and that Council would use the Outcomes Report as a basis for
further consultation on the design of the broader sites.
was discussion of the impacts and next steps needed to pursue the
design options. Comments were typed and projected onto the large screen.
station appearance options were pictured and discussed. Pros and cons
were documented as well as additional ideas for drawing.
preferred option form was explained and participants practiced filling
it out. The form was a prioritisation matrix using the triple bottom
line of six criteria to assess the three options.
were asked to take a personalised form with them, to talk to family and
colleagues about the preferred option, and to return the form to the
Council within 10 days.
- An independent arbiter analysed the forms and a preference was
- The participants were notified of the decision in a feedback form
which documented the votes.
During phase 1 of the Enquiry-by-Design, from days 1 to 3, there was
very little drop-off in participation. However, following the longer
break between phase 1 and phase 2 of the Workshops, participation fell.
Moreover, there was no final forum, participants only needed to return
their completed prioritisation survey. (This was done at the request of
some of the older participants who wanted more time to think and talk
to others before they filled out their surveys). As a result, there was
a further drop-off in participation.
Unfortunately, the reliability of the sample is reduced with
declining participation. Hence, in any future enquiry by design
consensus forum, it would be preferable if participants filled out
their surveys during the last forum. Moreover, it would be preferable
to minimise the time between phases of the deliberations so the energy
and commitment to the process can be maintained.