Encouraging sense of community in Aotearoa New Zealand: exploring the role of community participation in public open space planning
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-06, 21:25 authored by Yiwen CuiYiwen Cui, morten Gjerde, Bruno MarquesBruno Marques
In Aotearoa New Zealand, the history of migration and increased globalisation is reshaping social and cultural frameworks, presenting both challenges and opportunities for the creation and utilisation of public open spaces. This study investigates how these pressures influence Indigenous groups, specifically Māori, as they navigate an interplay of cultural beliefs and interactions with a non-Māori world. Concurrently, the progressively diverse nature of migrants, who consider themselves part of both their country of origin and New Zealand society, adds further complexity. This research aims to explore the potential of public open spaces to encourage a sense of community among the major ethnic groups in New Zealand, including New Zealand Europeans, Māori, Chinese, and Pasifika. Drawing on the Sense of Community theory proposed by McMillan and Chavis, this study investigates the impact of community participation in public open space planning on the sense of community among these groups. Through a quantitative online survey, the Sense of Community Index-2 was utilised for assessing the extent to which participatory planning nurtures a sense of community. The findings suggest that participatory planning offer valuable opportunities for integrating public perspectives, fostering sense of community, and creating inclusive spaces that celebrate cultural diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand.