Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

Dr Seuss

About Vertical Villages Project

The Vertical Villages Project is an initiative of the ‘Together For Ryde’ network of Church leaders.

In the midst of seeing the rapid city and urban development happening on our doorstep, the Together for Ryde network starting wrestling with the question, “How can we be a part of the creation of cities where all can flourish – spiritually, physically, emotionally and relationally?”

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.

Jeremiah 29:7

The Inspiration for this Project

Join the learning community

Join the learning community

Our Collaborative Partners

The research conducted in 2020 by a team of researchers at Macquarie University explored the role and potential of FBOs to facilitate placemaking and community development in multicultural high-rise/high-density urban environments. It seeks to answer the question ‘How do we create socially connected communities in high rise developments which enhance community wellbeing?’ It calls for urban designers and placemakers, architects, planners, developers, State Government, and council bodies to re-examine the way they build high-rise dwellings to enhance resident wellbeing.

The Vertical Villages: Community, Place and Urban Density Report developed by Macquarie University in a partnership with Faith Housing Alliance (supported by a grant from the Salvation Army) and BaptistCare, outlines key considerations and improvements to resident experiences that will help to promote overall wellbeing and community connection in cities.

The Online Toolkit has been developed for practitioners interested in getting involved in community development and place-making activities in their neighbourhoods. Drawing on insights from the research, the toolkit provides practical tips on how to respectfully engage with diverse residents. It also offers insights into how apartment complexes might be designed with community connection in mind, providing case study examples of practitioner’s experiences of working with diverse groups to enhance community connection.

If you are interested in engaging with your local community download and read the toolkit and report, learn from residents and experts and be prompted to think about how you might begin the journey of Project Vertical Village.



Dr Miriam Williams is a lecturer in Geography and Planning at Macquarie University within the Macquarie School of Social Sciences with a passion for making more caring and just cities. She is an urban and cultural geographer who has made key contributions to understandings of the importance of care in responding to injustice in cities and has been published in high ranking international journals Antipode, Urban Studies and Cities. Her research has focused on community organisations, community food initiatives, sustainable household practices and urban commons. Miriam is currently the Course Director of the Bachelor of Planning at Macquarie University.


Dr Emma Mitchell is a sociologist currently employed as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Western Sydney University in the Institute for Culture and Society. Emma’s research experience has been focused on social policy and the sociology of everyday life, with an emphasis on issues of diversity, multiculturalism, and colonialism in sphere of social security and community welfare.

Associate Professor Kristian Ruming is an urban and economic geographer and present Discipline Chair of Geography and Planning within the Macquarie School of Social Sciences. His research interests centre on issues of housing and urban planning.

Professor Amanda Wise is a leading expert in multicultural cities and urban sociology and Professor of Sociology in the Macquarie School of Social Sciences. Amanda has held a number of large Australian Research Council Grants and has extensive experience in advising and undertaking commissioned research for government on issues of diversity and strategies to tackle racism

Research Fellows employed on the project:

Kate Cavanough is a practicing urban designer and landscape architect at SJB Architects. She has experience leading interdisciplinary teams on major urban renewal and infrastructure projects across NSW, such as Bankstown Centre Urban Design Study (Canterbury Bankstown Council), Schofields Planned Precinct and Interchange Masterplan (DPIE and TfNSW), Fifteenth Avenue FAST Corridor (Liverpool Council), and Sydney Metro West Planning Study and Local Character Study (Canada Bay Council). Kate is passionate about the role of urban design to understand and deliver on the needs of communities, with a focus on high quality and equitable public spaces.

Isaac Harrison is a Macquarie University Master of Research student, supervised by Professor Amanda Wise.

Download the Research

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Group 41

Building Great Communities




You are invited to the


Exploring ministry in a world of high-rise towers

Come, listen, and contribute to an ongoing conversation as we unpack the Research Report

Vertical Villages: Community, Place and Urban Density



Morling College Auditorium

• 5 Saunders Close. Macquarie Park NSW 2113

• Lunch provided


Project Vertical Villages

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Project Vertical Villages

There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum available, but the majority have suffered alteration in some form, by injected humour, or randomised words

Learn more

Project Vertical Villages

There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum available, but the majority have suffered alteration in some form, by injected humour, or randomised words

Learn more