Focus groups

Listening – focus group activity

During the listening phase, community organisations, residents and other local stakeholders were invited to small focus group discussions to discuss strength, opportunities, deficits and the barriers to more effective greening.

The focus group activity practiced a deep mapping approach where site-specific, structural and strategic aspects of planning and greening were discussed. Greening deficits identified included: 

  • Type and form of greening; 
  • City wide urban development pressures; 
  • Quality and maintenance; 
  • Air quality and tree cover;
  • Knowledge deficits around trees, planting and what public spaces people could actually plant.
  • The socio-cultural context
  • Governance and policy gaps

The deficits and opportunities are discussed in more detail in section 4 of the EPA report. Participants were also concerned with shining light on what they identified as the ‘black box’ of greening plans and policy making and raised a number of questions including:

  • Who is greening for?
  • Where are the public green space?
  • How do the public access green space decision making?
  • Can greening be enforced/encouraged
  • Who has the statutory responsibility? 
  • Who will pay for green infrastructure? 
  • How can we enhance what we already have?

Two maps (below) were developed to synthesise the discussions and illustrate clearly defined areas for improvement that match with areas believed to have strong greening/ecological value for the community. This focus group work resulted in a number of themes that informed the planning and preparation for the community launch event.