Heritage, placemaking, and cultural values are important aspects of all parts of society. They form the foundation of why we undertake many of the projects we do as governments, private developers, community organisations and project managers. However, they are areas that may be seen as unimportant, subjective, difficult to integrate or "add ons" within the project program and not given their due consideration. They are often not understood, or planned, early enough within the project's timeline to be fully evolved by the end of works.
But why does this happen? What makes incorporating the human element into projects so difficult? How can we do better as communities and as project managers? How can we be more effective as professionals, allies and community members, whilst managing projects and maintaining profitability and meeting or exceeding client expectations?
I believe project management is the key.
Project management cannot only contribute, but is essential, to changing approaches to heritage integration and responses, appropriate placemaking practices, and the incorporation of cultural values at all stages of projects? Through the ongoing development of the understanding why the inclusion of heritage, placemaking and cultural values benefits projects, helps change the interactions of society and helps create a future for Australia's past, project management can forge innovative and creative new approaches that can become standard practice.
Through the provision of a structured framework that willingly includes comprehensive cultural planning, open and transparent stakeholder engagement, cross-disciplinary collaboration, appropriate resource management, monitoring and evaluation, as well as adaptive management; project management will become the force for change. These changes will lead to more inclusive, sustainable, and impactful initiatives that preserve and enhance cultural heritage, promote meaningful placemaking, and celebrate diverse cultural values.
Join me as we investigate ways of seeing heritage, placemaking and cultural values in a new light as project managers.