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Developing a new Social Infrastructure Strategy

Have you ever taken your toddler to playgroup, met with a community group, joined a local yoga class, kicked a ball with your friends in the park, or borrowed a book? Then you’ve probably used one of the great community spaces in Newcastle.

Developing a new Social Infrastructure Strategy

We're developing a new Social Infrastructure Strategy

We know how important community spaces are to our community, so we’re working on a plan to make sure our community has access to the spaces, services and programs they need to lead healthy and happy lives. As part of the process, we have been consulting with people across the city to help us better understand what you value about community spaces (social infrastructure) and what you and your community needs for the next 20 years.

Our discussion

  • We encouraged communities and stakeholders to have a say on how we can create great public spaces across Newcastle now and into the future. The project’s initial engagement activities ended on Monday 30 November 2020 and included:
    • Over 250 completed surveys
    • 300 social pinpoint comments from the public, sectors, etc. View received comments here Social Pinpoint - Survey - Great public spaces in Newcastle
    • Metetings with a large number of services, government agencies and major institutions
    • Presentations to CN’s management and staff workshops
  • Key discussion themes coming out of engagement activities undertaken so far:
    • Public spaces, facilities and places are highly valued and utilised by the Newcastle communities
    • Equitable access to our public spaces, facilities and places for all
    • Public spaces, facilities and places should be affordable for everyone to use and hire
    • Make our public spaces, facilities and places work harder - for informal and formal uses
    • Improve the quality of what we already have to increase use and activation
    • Partner and collaborate with the large number of services, government agencies and major institutions to plan for and deliver great public spaces, facilities and places to meet future demand.

Next steps

  • We are now reviewing the research findings and engagement results to create a draft Plan. The draft Plan will then be placed on public exhibition to encourage your feedback.

Public spaces (social infrastructure)

Community spaces are our free or publicly accessible community centres, libraries, museums and galleries, and our parks and gardens. Community space include

  • Community facilities (and the services and programs within them)
  • Community open space and recreation facilities (and the services and programs within them).

Newcastle’s community spaces make life more welcoming and accessible here. They support our health and well-being, build a stronger community and local economy, and are at the heart of our everyday life. People with access to great community spaces are generally healthier and happier than those who don’t. Our community spaces are vital to Newcastle to help us maintain both physical and mental health.

  • Sports spaces (and formal and informal team sports)
  • Parks
  • Natural spaces (inc. environmental reserves)
  • Beaches and rivers
  • Swimming pools
  • Beaches and outdoor pools
  • Indoor recreation (courts and pools)
  • Recreation and surf clubs
  • Golf courses and games
  • Outdoor courts
  • Playgrounds
  • Skate/bmx parks & youth plazas
  • Outdoor exercise facilities and exercise groups
  • Community centres and halls
  • Libraries
  • Early childhood education and care and school holiday programs
  • Schools, TAFEs, and universities
  • Arts and cultural centres (museums, galleries, creative arts centre, theatres)
  • Arts and cultural programs (arts and craft classes, events, exhibitions)
  • Civic centres
  • Outdoor events
  • Aged & disability services
  • Emergency services 
  • Residential Aged Care
  • Justice services
  • Lifelong learning (Playgroups, training courses, Story Time, language, computer skills)
  • Health and wellbeing (early childhood clinics, family support services, therapeutic services, cooking classes)
  • Spaces to hire for family events (birthdays, weddings, anniversaries)


In 2019, the City of Newcastle Council passed a resolution that social infrastructure is just as vital for economic prosperity as it is for social wellbeing, and that it benefits the entire community and plays a significant role in enhancing the lives of people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities (Lord Mayoral Minute 25/06/2019)

Engagement timeline

November 2020
Community engagement
We're seeking insights from the community and key stakeholder to better understand needs for future community spaces.

Contact us

Community Engagement

Phone: 02 4974 2000

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