Rachael Nasplezes

Rachael Nasplezes

Rachael Nasplezes has been in the field of sustainable business development and natural resource management for over 2 decades. Her early career began with a 6 year stint in South Africa working with deep rural communities to build and enable young entrepreneurs in the field of eco-business. Rachael recently completed a New Venture Leadership Certificate with the world renowned MIT and is due to complete her Masters of Business Administration early in 2019. Rachael currently works internally to build a lasting approach to business development, inspire entrepreneurship into the culture and helps deliver the Water by Design program.

Communities Working Together To Build Resilience In Their Place

Too many times we see urban design solutions imposed upon local communities that are ill fitting; developed without an understanding of how a community uses and values their local place.   Such designs are doomed to failure as they miss a critical piece of the design puzzle – who are the people who will use and value this place into the future and how and where are their needs captured?

A project in inner-city Brisbane has been leading the way in co-designed urban spaces that protect local waterways. The site had been identified as one in which creek restoration works could improve the health of the local waterway and increase the ecological values of the site. The creek  however was largely hidden from view due to significant weed infestation and there was a need to build community stewardship to care for the creek into the future.

To successfully develop and implement the ensuing integrated design plan that united all of the complexities and nuances of this special place, HLW approached the local community with a blank canvas, authenticity engaged with and acknowledged them as the local experts and worked together consistently throughout the project to build collaboration and trust.

This project has helped to shape and connect the essential relationships between natural water processes and the environment to human activities and experience and realised the significant value to the local community of place. It demonstrates why communities are essential to the design process and how co-design forges profound values of community stewardship, social cohesion and develops a communities understanding of the value and role of water sensitive urban design.

The local school, residents, scout group, retirement village and catchment care groups continue to be heavily involved in the ongoing stewardship of what is now known locally as the Enoggera Meeting Place.

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