Street by Street
is a national project in local neighbourhood community building and social
here to go to the
Street by Street Project Website
The goal of Street by Street is to revive the practice of community, and the art of neighbourliness,
on a large scale across Australia.
It aims to re-kindle connections between neighbours that might once have formed
spontaneously but which in our day and age require a little facilitation.
Its model is local neighbourhood groups in small population precincts of
between 200 and 400 households.
Read on to understand how you might fit into the Street by Street model and the
possibilities for bringing your community together.
Why Street by
The need for
social infrastructure at the neighbourhood level and the life-changing benefits
of living in a connected community have been long proven. Governments,
policy-makers and researchers know these benefits very well, but they've been
unable to create this social infrastructure at the neighbourhood level. Despite
some outstanding exceptions, many parts of
Australia are without vibrant local neighbourhood communities.
Since 2007, the Centre for Civil Society has brought residents, social
innovators, community builders and policy-makers together in several forums to
explore how community life in local neighbourhoods can be re-developed on a large
scale. The components of a working model have been put together, drawing on
initiatives and experiences around Australia and overseas.
On 29 April 2014,
the model was refined through a design lab process in Melbourne involving 45
participants. The model that emerged is outlined below. A
project implementation team has been established and your participation is
Please register your interest in participating in the project
through the online form below.
Sign up to participate in
Street by Street (there is no cost).
inaugural Project Manager of Street by
Street is Irene Opper, based in Melbourne.
Irene may be contacted at
firstname.lastname@example.org or on
0413 706 233.
The project website is at
local neighbourhood group
is convened in a precinct of between 200 and 400 households.
is an informal, unincorporated network of neighbours,
with one or more people taking on the role of
A group has three characteristics: local (it operates within walking distance),
independent (it is free to choose its own activities), and informal.
The group may choose to partner with
a community organisation (a
which may be a neighbourhood house, a service club, a community services provider,
a church, a school, a scouts or guides group, or a sporting club.
is a formal, incorporated body which assists a
local neighbourhood group to form, helps meet its
practical requirements, provides guidance, and participates in its activities as
appropriate. Local councils may also play this role.
can be initiated either by a resident in a precinct, or by a community partner,
either of whom can identify and select a person to act as a
To get started, a
makes a simple plan for how, where and when
neighbours may come together. When an initial gathering has taken place, and the
group has chosen its initial focus, the community connector advises the project manager
the group is posted on the
online social network
for each local neighbourhood group will be made
available, where it is
wanted. If a
group doesn't want any online network, that's ok.
will supply information on the location of each local group, with contact
A project manager will guide the development
of local neighbourhood groups, provide an Information Kit for starting up,
organise information and training events as required, and support group
convenors and community partners.
A national reference group will steer the
development of Street by Street as a
Project Partners are local governments, state and
national organisations, and universities that wish to partner with
Street by Street for the development of the
Photo: Street by Street Design Lab, 29 April 2014.
A resident hears about Street by Street and gets the Information
Kit. She talks to a couple of local services and finds that the neighbourhood
house would like to be a partner in helping her form a group. She invites the
300 households around her to a morning tea and they discuss what they could do
with, and for, each other.
A disability service wants residents of their unit to have more
interaction with their neighbours. They read the Information Kit and decide that
they will help a group form and ask the group if some people would like to
connect with their clients. They understand that groups may choose a number of
areas of interest so they decide to do a letterdrop asking for people who would
like to convene a group. 3 people respond and they work with them to arrange the
Some neighbourhood groups may wish to focus on bringing neighbours together to
get to know each other.
Others will choose a practical task or project to work
on together. We don't mind.
Many things may eventuate either way - friendships, swapping of home-grown
produce, a social life within walking distance, a helping hand, kids finding
playmates. We do have suggestions for a focus, and we offer the
following menu to choose from. Or a group
may decide on another focus that is just right for its area.
local network for helping people with ageing, disability or chronic illness
with practical tasks (putting the bins out, getting a few items of
with gardening, walking the dog) so that residents with these
challenges can live in their own homes for longer with support from neighbours;
local network in areas of high risk
of natural disasters for disaster alerts, information sharing, risk prevention
and response arrangements;
local gardening network for people growing vegetables and fruit, to swap their produce, and exchange ideas, tools, and advice;
for electricity, gas, telecommunications, or food;
supported living network for people with disabilities and
illnesses living in community,
with a relationships focus not just practical tasks;
local sharing network
for tools, lawn mowers, recipes, skills etc;
car-pooling local network;
neighbourhood focus on
Neighbours not volunteers
Participants in a Street by Street group are not volunteers,
they are people in a voluntary relationship with their neighbours, as
The aim of Street by Street is to recover the practice, and art, of
neighbourliness. We donít want to surround this activity with excessive rules
and regulations, nor do we want to subject participants to the usual procedures
that volunteers in formal organizations are subject to.
Street by Street
has no political or religious affiliations.
It is our intention to develop Street by Street as a facilitated network
combining simple informal neighbourhood connections, with resourcing and
coordination on a large scale across Australia.
Street by Street Information
Kits for convenors, participants and agencies wishing to support groups are
Expressions of Interest are invited for participants in the Street
by Street National Reference Group.
The Reference Group will support the development of the project
around Australia. If you would like to play an active role as a member of the
National Reference Group, express your interest in the form below.
You can sign up for the Street by Street mailing list and / or