Building Connections: Schools as Community Hubs

Published on by SARAH BACKHOUSE
Building Connections: Schools as Community Hubs is a three-year Australian Research Council Linkage Project investigating how best to plan, design, govern and manage schools to operate successfully as ‘more than a school’, encouraging the development of resilient and connected communities. About the project Schools are some of the most underutilised assets in Australia. Many are used sparingly outside of school hours. Furthermore, the co-location of school infrastructure with other forms of social infrastructure, such as sporting, recreation and health services facilities, is not as common as might be expected. Nevertheless, school sites are increasingly being recognised as valuable assets that can support the education, health and wellbeing of individuals, families and community groups – especially in rapidly growing areas of Australia’s largest cities and regional centres. In the next decade, Australia will need up to 700 new schools to meet the demands of a growing population. This presents a significant opportunity to embed new knowledge about the role that indoor and outdoor spaces can play in developing and supporting communities across the country. The project aims to inform decision making about how new and existing school infrastructure can be used for broader community benefit. Building Connections commenced in June 2019 and will run until mid-2022.

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Building Connections: Schools as Community Hubs ARC LP170101050