Unlocking great places

An exciting strategic direction for Victoria’s growth authority.
Unlocking great places

An exciting strategic direction for Victoria’s growth authority.

Together for good – the client challenge

The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) is Victoria’s specialist agency for urban growth planning, creating prosperous, liveable, and sustainable urban communities. VPA develops high-quality and achievable land use and infrastructure charging plans for areas of state and regional significance, ensuring equitable access to employment, public transport, attractive public space and affordable housing.

VPA partnered with Cube Group to explore and navigate key external challenges – from the social, demographic and economic shifts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic through to the impacts of climate change and digital and technological acceleration.

Our work culminated in a bold 4-year VPA strategic plan which outlines VPA’s values, drivers, purpose, pillars and priorities. The Strategic Plan characterises VPA’s commitment to being a modern, nimble and highly efficient organisation that is diverse, innovative, digitally enabled and a great place to work. This is the second strategic plan VPA has partnered with Cube to develop. 

Bringing the right thinking and people to the table

We designed a bespoke engagement model that combined ‘inside-out’ and ‘outside-in’ dimensions. Key features of our approach included dynamic staff engagement workshops and focus groups, and a series of leadership team and executive ’strategy sprints’ that combined in-person, fully digital and hybrid sessions.

We also crafted an external engagement program that connected with the organisation’s key ‘critical friends’ and sought their insights and perspectives about VPA’s strategic direction. Our strategic planning process involved the Board at key touchpoints of the journey.

By engaging smartly with VPA’s internal team, stakeholders, partners and authorisers, we surfaced key opportunities, challenges and insights that underpinned strategy development.

The positive change we delivered

VPA’s strategic plan positions the organisation to maintain Melbourne’s status as one of the world’s most liveable cities, complemented by vibrant and prosperous regional cities and towns.

VPA has made outstanding progress in the delivery of its strategic plan, and the organisation continues to deliver strong planning outcomes for the Victorian community. 

VPA’s strategic plan is publicly available here: VPA Strategic Plan 2021-2024 – VPA


Insights for inquisitive minds
  • Understanding growth areas and their needs requires a holistic, state-wide perspective and ‘place based thinking’.

  • Victoria’s land-use planning ecosystem contains many ‘actors’, and engaging extensively is key to aligning and delivering strategic outcomes.

  • Public entities with significant project delivery responsibilities require agile operating models that support a high ‘metabolic rate’ to deliver public value.

“Unlocking great urban places is a vital part of Victoria’s future liveability and economic prosperity.”
Julia Hovenden
Director, Cube Group