Research Change

Community insights for Sydney 2050

City of Sydney

Project Highlights

Winner – Project of the Year at the International Association for Public Participation (ipac2) Core Value Awards 2020 – recognising excellence in public participation

Capturing the hopes, vision and aspirations of the City’s community to provide the foundation of its community strategic plan

Utilising all the qualitative and quantitative engagement across diverse stakeholders to understand community needs and aspirations

Identifying key areas of convergence and divergence of community engagement outcomes against other commissioned research by the City

The bottom line

Providing a comprehensive understanding of engagement outcomes from diverse stakeholders to inform next stages of engagement and development the City of Sydney’s strategic planning to 2050

The Challenge:

Every day 1.3 million people live, work, study, do business, shop and go out within the City of Sydney. As part of the City envisioning 2050, all of these people who have an interest in the future of Sydney have been invited to have their say through a diversity of consultation opportunities.

Through its engagement, the City has developed a significant level of trust from the community regarding its consultation processes. With these strong expectations, it is critical that the use of the outcomes of the consultation is used in a meaningful way which is evident to the community. With this in mind, the City required an independent analysis of all engagement outcomes to inform decision making.

What we did:

Astrolabe Group undertook an independent review of the outcomes of the community engagement activities conducted in February to April 2019 to support planning for Sydney to 2050. For this phase of engagement, the City wanted to explore the high-level themes, values and issues that people saw as important to the development of a new community strategic plan for Sydney to 2050. The process was all about asking questions and our role was to make sense of the answers received.

There were twenty different engagement touchpoints from online surveys, school outreach, library postcards to business workshops with thousands of responses in multiple formats. Astrolabe analysed all the qualitative and quantitative data provided by the City, bringing the outcomes together in a meaningful way to identify the consistent messages and the overarching values and themes articulated by the community.

Source: City of Sydney Community Engagement Insights Report, p. 8


  • A Community Engagement Insights Report used across further community engagement opportunities, and available at Council’s website
  • Five major themes identified as community objectives – a city for people, a city that moves, an environmentally responsive city, a lively, cultural and creative city and a city with a future focused economy.
  • An additional report for the City providing an analysis of convergence and divergence of community engagement against recommendations emerging from other commissioned research to inform decision making.


Cover image: City of Sydney (attributed to Jessica Lindsay)