How events build a sense of community at Hobsonville Point
Building quality houses is an important part of HLC’s work. But getting people out of those houses and interacting with one another and their environment is crucial to building a sense of community.
That’s why HLC has gone to considerable lengths to support local public events at Hobsonville Point, a township in the making in Auckland.
It’s such an important part of our work that it’s enshrined in Hobsonville Point’s Sustainable Development Framework(external link), which measures the success of the development each year.
The objective is to lead or support at least one local public event each year.
HLC Programme Manager, Placemaking, Kathleen Waldock says events provide the opportunity for new friendships and connections.
“Events ‘activate’ spaces, bringing them to life, adding to the vibrancy of a community that adds to a sense of community.”
In the year to June 2018, there was the Heritage Festival, the Kaipatiki Project’s Eco Fun Day and the EcoPoint Waste Management workshop.
In November, more than 15,000 people attended the weekend gala event for the opening of Te Ara Manawa - Hobsonville/Onekiritea Coastal Walkway.
And each year, hundreds of residents take part in the Hobsonville Point Runway Challenge(external link), a fun run or walk that takes participants through the historic surrounds of the old airbase.
HLC actively runs or supports these events, dedicating ‘placemaking’ resource to ensure they happen, as we believe they play an important part in building a sense of community.
It’s these subtle but significant touches that lead to outcomes such as 93% of residents saying Hobsonville Point is a great place to live and 95% saying that they’ve had positive interactions with neighbours that go beyond a simple “hello”.
Kathleen says Hobsonville Point has developed into a “very engaged community” where people care about one another, as well as the environment and public spaces.
“There’s pride in these events, again building on that sense of community, belonging, and ownership.
“There’s also a lot of examples of individuals getting on and putting on events or activities, making things happen for themselves and their community, rather than relying on others to do it for them. Real ownership, motivation and pride. It’s a very proactive community.”