Home' Forge : Vol 2 No 3 Contents 72
The success of any place is dependent
on its community’s connection
with its physical surroundings, the
interconnectedness of its local networks,
and the sense of pride and responsibility
experienced by the individuals who live,
work and play there.
The Central Coast Council recognises
this, and has been using these basic
principles to effectively implement
people-focused place-making processes
in order to reinvigorate the once-
illustrious Gosford CBD – making
it once again a premier destination
of investment, development and
Innovative ideas, including the
installation of the region’s first outdoor
ice rink in the heart of the city during
the winter school holidays, have
encouraged thousands of people to
return to the city centre.
The Council’s Group Leader
of Customer and Community
Relationships, Judy Jaeger, says that
the success of initiatives like the school
holiday Winter Wonderland program
is due to the collaborative approach
taken by council, business and the local
‘The outdoor ice rink was an incredible
idea; however, no initiative can be
successful in isolation. With thousands
of people flocking to the Gosford CBD
for the outdoor ice skating, we offered
a holistic destination experience,
comprising complementary activities run
by the local library, quality shopping and
dining experiences, signage and city-
wide decorations,’ says Jaeger.
This holistic approach extends
beyond individual initiatives with the
establishment of the City Alliance, which
represents the interests of council’s
place-making team, the Gosford, Erina
and Coastal Chamber of Commerce, the
Imperial Shopping Centre, and the Gosford
Business Improvement District (GBID).
‘The City Alliance brings together key
stakeholders from the local landscape
and has created a shared, strategic
vision for the future of our city.
‘We are working together to achieve
common goals that will offer collective
benefits for Gosford and its inhabitants,’
Professionals in the place-making
arena have also been enlisted to engage
business owners, local industry leaders
and government officials in order to
successfully cultivate a sense of place and
purpose that not only attracts people to
the city, but also keeps them returning.
‘Experts including Cormac Russell,
and most recently Peter Kenyon,
have spoken with members of our
local business community about
the importance of local knowledge
and working collaboratively, not
competitively, to build a complete
business destination, rather than
focusing on individual enterprise.
‘For example, it is important for business
owners to have comprehensive awareness
of the other services and facilities
available in the vicinity, so they can help
broaden customer experience and allow
for opportunities for collaboration and
cross-promotion,’ says Jaeger.
Excellence in customer service is at the
core of positive customer experience,
and the Central Coast Council has
embedded this knowledge in its service
delivery, working to become an efficient
and customer-friendly organisation.
‘Council has done a lot of work to
position Gosford CBD as an attractive
destination for development and
investment, strengthening relationships,
offering incentives and removing
antiquated restrictions that hamper the
‘Obviously, making Gosford a vibrant
and dynamic centre of community
activity by building community
collateral across the city makes Gosford
an extremely attractive investment
option,’ says Jaeger.
This work has yielded impressive
results, attracting more than $1 billion
worth of potential development to
Gosford’s city centre since mid-2014.
By implementing innovative, people-
driven place-making initiatives, Gosford
and its surrounds are continuing to
grow in terms of human capital, new
development, increased investment and
community connectivity. The best is yet
to come, so watch this space!
What does it take to
make a place?
Community collaboration leads Gosford’s reinvigoration.
Central Coast Council Place-making Initiative – Ice skating in Gosford
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