Mayoral Message

As a City that will grow to the size of Canberra in terms of population growth – we need to leverage opportunities regionally, nationally and globally to attract visitors, grow economic investment, and attract partners to collaborate with on our innovation-based projects. Our reality is that we need to make things happen for ourselves which we have done already through the Werribee City Rejuvenation and our Wyndham International Sports Precinct at Tarneit which will be home to the new A-League team.

We will be strengthening this work through the formalisation of our Sister City relationship with Changzhou in China. In two weeks, Cr Henry Barlow and our Director of Deals, Investment and Major Projects – Kate Roffey and myself will travel to Changzhou for four days to attend the official signing ceremony.

I understand the stigma that exists around the traditional Sister City program, however Sister City relationships are culturally significant in China and provide access opportunities that may have not previously existed. The formalisation of the Sister City relationship between Wyndham and Changzhou represents a milestone in Wyndham’s recognition as an international City which is extremely important.

Later this month our CEO, Kelly Grigsby, our Head of Strategy and Policy Impact, Natalie Walker and Cr Kim McAliney and Cr Josh Gilligan will take part in the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s (UDIA) study tour that is visiting New York, Washington and San Francisco. This is being attended by other Councils, planning authorities, developers and other industry representatives. It is unprecedented opportunity for the stakeholders who make key decisions about Wyndham’s future development to learn together about what can be achieved by looking to best practice examples.

I understand that overseas travel for Councillors and Council staff is something that can be frowned upon – however I believe that if we continue to sit back and wait for hand outs from the Government or just rely on ratepayer funds to pay for our much-needed infrastructure, we aren’t doing ourselves any favours. We need to generate our own opportunities and as we know, the world is a much smaller place now.

I am confident that both programs will support Council in achieving its objectives in terms of positioning Wyndham as a destination for future investment and through the education of decision makers.

Cr Mia Shaw - Wyndham City Mayor

Sister City Delegation to Changzhou, China

Through our Positioning Wyndham Strategy, we identified the need to foster relationships regionally, nationally and globally to attract visitors, grow economic investment, and attract partners to collaborate with on our innovation-based projects.

The Sister City relationship with Changzhou presents Wyndham with an opportunity to strengthen its relationship with China in a formal way. Changzhou is home to more than five million people and has a GDP of over $100 billion. Chinese visitors are also Victoria’s leading visitor market contributing $3.3 billion to the state’s economy with more than 650,000 visitors last year (2018). This growth is forecast to continue.

With the work being undertaken in the Deals, Investment and Major Projects portfolio, led by Director Kate Roffey and the arrival of Air Asia at Avalon, the opportunities and connections we’ve made into China are already proving fruitful

Sister City relationships are culturally significant within China. They provide opportunities for Wyndham’s local business community that may have not have previously existed. Since our first visit to Changzhou two years ago, we have hosted two trade delegations with government and business representatives from Changzhou that have involved Wyndham businesses.

For more information on Changzhou, please visit or

Changzhou, China - Sister City visit 

Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) Victorian Planning & Environmental Law Association (VPELA) International Study Tour, USA

Wyndham has been involved in the development of a Study Tour of North America with the UDIA and VPELA which provides Wyndham City Council a unique opportunity to meet with overseas government agencies, private developers, consultants and industry bodies to learn about their methodologies, use of technologies, as well as site visits and special events hosted by local businesses. 

The study tour will provide Wyndham City with the unique opportunity to meet with government agencies, private developers, consultants and industry bodies as well as site visits has been designed to meet the specific needs and our interests as a growth city including:​

  • Walkable Urban Places
  • Transport Oriented Development
  • Rapid Transit
  • Employment Hubs
  • Place Making and Urban Design
  • Smart Cities
  • Value Capture
  • Affordable Housing and
  • Public-Private Partnerships/Alternative Funding Models.

Below is an overview of the places Wyndham City will visit, the groups and people and it will meet with;

Mission Bay, San Francisco

Mission Bay is a 303-acre neighbourhood on the east side of San Francisco (Union Square). It is bordered by China Basin to the north, Dogpatch to the south, and San Francisco Bay to the east. 

Originally an industrial district, it underwent development fuelled by the construction of the UCSF Mission bay campus and is currently in the final stages of development and construction. It is also the site of the Chase Centre (major entertainment centre). 

Attractions and characteristics of Mission Bay, San Francisco

  • Mission Bay will house the major entertainment centre, where the NBA’s Golden State Warriors will play from April 2019.
  • The first new branch of the San Francisco Public Library in over 40 years, The Mission Bay Branch Library, opened on July 8, 2006. It is located on the ground floor of a multi-use facility, which includes an adult day health centre, affordable senior housing, retail space and a large community meeting room. The new library is approximately 7,500 square feet (700 m2).
  • Location of the San Francisco Public Safety Building at Third Street and Mission Rock. It includes a Police headquarters, Police Station and Mission Bay Fire Station.
  • An estimated 56 biotech companies were clustered in Mission Bay in mid-2010.Mission Bay has a large residential component with approximately 6,404 apartments and/or condos planned (1,806 of them to be designated affordable).
  • The Beacon is one of the largest condominium complexes in San Francisco and anchors much of the activity in North Mission Bay. With 595 condominium units, it sits on a full city block. A Safeway anchors the retail sections of the building; a Borders bookstore, and a Lucky Strike Bowling. The building's name refers to its being the first large scale mixed-use project planned for the new neighbourhood, and thus "The Beacon" of the area's revival. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine also calls the Beacon home.
  • Madrone is a high-end residential condominium overlooking San Francisco Bay, the building has two towers with 329 modern residences, many with bay, city and Bay Bridge views. 
  • Glassworks is a mixed-use building with approximately 40 modern condos of varying floor plans and sizes.
  • Arterra is San Francisco's first LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – green building certification) The project consists of three connected buildings, each in a different exterior colour.
  • Park Terrace The building has 110 market rate homes.
  • Radiance at Mission Bay is in the south part of Mission Bay, adjacent to the Bay. It consists of 99 market rate condominiums.
  • Strata is a market rate apartment complex near the UCSF campus.
  • Arden is a market-rate residential condominium.

Peter Calthorpe, Transit Oriented Development

Throughout his career in urban design, planning, and architecture, Peter has been a pioneer of innovative approaches to urban revitalization, community planning, and regional design. Since forming Calthorpe Associates in 1983, his work expanded to include major projects in urban, new town, and suburban settings within the United States and abroad. 

Peter Calthorpe is already at work planning the cities of the future.  More than half of the world's population already lives in cities, and another 2.5 billion people are projected to move to urban areas by 2050. We’ll be learning about his approaches to solving urban sprawl and building smarter, more sustainable cities.

Washington DC

Dr Tracy Hadden Loh - George Washington University School of Business

Tracy Hadden Loh is a senior data scientist at the Centre for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University School of Business. Her research interest is in placemaking and has represented council for two years.

Christopher B. Leinberger - Walkable Urban Places WalkUPs

Christopher B. Leinberger is a land use strategist, professor, real estate developer, researcher, speaker and author, who balances business realities with social and environmental concerns.  Amongst his many credentials, and more than 17 published books,  Mr. Leinberger was named as one of The 100 Most Influential Urbanists of all time (2017).

District of Columbia, Department of Housing and Community Development

The Department of Housing and Community Development has a District Inclusionary Zoning Program that requires 8 to 10 percent of the residential floor area to be set aside for affordable rental or for-sale units in

  • New residential development projects of 10 or more units; and
  • Rehabilitation projects that are expanding an existing building by 50 percent or more and adding 10 or more units.

Councillor Anita Bonds – Chairperson, Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization

Anita Bonds is the current Chairperson of the Committee on Housing and Community Development. The Committee has oversight of the DC Department of Housing and Community Development, the District of Columbia Housing Authority, Housing Finance Agency, Housing Production Trust Fund, and the Rental Housing Commission.

New York

Battery Park City Authority

Battery Park City has achieved worldwide acclaim as a model for community renewal. Through a public/private partnership between the Battery Park City Authority and private developers, this planned community has become a blueprint for successful urban development.

Jim Brown

Jim Brown has more than 35 years of experience in the environmental field and has worked on local, state, and national projects throughout the United States, including planning and environmental studies for a wide variety of transportation modes, including highways, light rail transit facilities, heavy rail facilities, airports, and marine facilities.

Luiz Aragon, Commissioner for Development for the City of New Rochelle

Luiz Aragon has over two decades of governmental experience in New York City and upstate New York. His broad expertise includes community development, economic development and revitalization, housing, planning, transportation, and environmental management.

Under his leadership, New Rochelle has been able to reposition itself as a leading transit-oriented destination.  In partnership with the City Council, Mr. Aragon has rezoned approximately 300 acres of the City’s downtown to accommodate over 10 million square feet of development.  

Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver – New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

One of the nation’s most celebrated urban thinkers, Commissioner Silver is also the immediate past president of the American Planning Association (APA). He is an award-winning planner with more than 30 years of experience and he is internationally recognized for his leadership in the planning profession and his contributions to contemporary planning issues.

In addition to his many accomplishments he has been honoured as one of the top 100 City Innovators in the world by UBM Future Cities, and in 2012 the Urban Times named him one of the top international thought leaders of the built environment.

Times Square Alliance

The Times Square Alliance has worked to position Times Square as the "crossroads of the world" and to cultivate the creativity, energy and edginess. The Alliance works to encourage economic development and public improvements, advocates on behalf of its constituents and helps to coordinate numerous major events in Times Square, including the annual Broadway on Broadway and New Year's Eve celebrations.

Project for Public Spaces

A non- profit organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build strong communities.  Site visits to profile the Project for Public Spaces (PPS) work include:

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park is one of the best-known and best-loved destinations in New York City featuring all the key attributes of a great public space

Frequently Asked Questions


The cost of the three-person delegation to Changzhou is approximately $16,500. The 12 day UDIA study tour will cost approximately $65,000 for all four participants. All costs are reported via the publicly available travel register.


Councillors and Council staff perform different roles and it therefore

important for both to be in attendance. The Mayor is required to sign the Sister City agreement on behalf of Council and Cr Barlow is attending in his capacity as Cultural Diversity Portfolio Holder.

Attendance on the UDIA Study Tour is about working with other stakeholders and professional development. Like many other large organisations in Australia, Wyndham City Council is obliged to invest in professional development opportunities for its people.


A key component of the sister city relationship is the exchange of delegations and Changzhou visited Wyndham mid-late last year. The signing of the documentation is required to be in person. The study tour of North America has been designed by an industry body with a view to not only providing visitation to key locations, but also the opportunity to share ideas with common stakeholders.

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