Blog , News
Property placemaking has found itself increasingly in the spotlight in recent years, with businesses going the extra mile to provide interesting and functional spaces that promote wellness and productivity. Now, property owners must be willing to care, collaborate and take risks if they’re to elevate placemaking to new heights.
In fact, property placemaking – the management of retail and public spaces in a way which develops health and happiness – is fast becoming the poster child for 21st century urban planning. Gone are the days when simple concrete design would do. Now, a combination of function, design and active property management leads the way to happier individuals and more prosperous businesses.
The idea behind property and retail placemaking is a simple one. In order to make the end result truly great, the individuals responsible – be they officials, commercial property owners or city planners – must embrace four key simple, yet effective, tenets which underpin the best examples of placemaking.
Caring for Your Tenants
Ensuring your tenants are well-looked after is the cornerstone of great property placemaking – after all, placemaking is carried out in order to provide spaces for people to enjoy and be productive in. Caring for tenants should cover areas such as providing a secure environment, and contracting cleaners to maintain a welcoming environment throughout.
Although they seem like small actions – and sometimes the expense can put property owners off – gestures such as these help to build a strong relationship with tenants, which often translates into long-term loyalty. What’s more, in line with changing times, expectations have also changed, and failing to keep up with what’s on offer elsewhere could undermine efforts from the get go.
At the heart of property placemaking is the idea of wellness and community – by its very nature, placemaking is a collaborative effort which strives to create spaces promoting positive experiences for a community of people, be that employees, neighbourhoods or an entire city. The result of collaborating with different individuals and organisations is the development of a space which addresses the needs and expectations people have, as well as bringing together assets and inspiration from a number of sources.
This tenet can be seen as an extension of caring for tenants, as it works to understand their deeper needs, rather than just security and cleanliness. It can ensure that your property and retail placemaking efforts keep people as the focus throughout, and can end up building a community which supports one another and offers something new and exciting.
Taken from Crowd UK’s own personal experience, creating internal events can be a fantastic way to drum up engagement, further develop a burgeoning community and create some excitement around property placemaking efforts.
Businesses housed in the Barton Arcade, for example, take part in the Barton’s Bloggers event. Spanning over an entire day, bloggers from across the North West are invited to experience all that Manchester’s historic Barton Arcade has on offer by visiting different businesses residing there, including a hair salon and tapas restaurant.
The result is both the generation of buzz around the location and a sense of community from the tenants – all of whom happily take part in the event, and who receive promotion through the bloggers. This is just one example, but the potential for internal events is limitless.
Keep it Local
Finally, there’s the need to keep things local, grounded in what matters in the surrounding area. This can include actions such as sponsoring events, raising money for local charities, or simply promoting locally-sourced talent, produce and ideas.
Although many UK cities now have their sights set on achieving international glory in light of Brexit, there’s nothing wrong with infusing property placemaking with some home-grown flavours in order to make the space attractive to locals, as well as maintaining relevancy in its location and pursuits. Allowing a space to put roots down locally in such a way can also go a long way to ensuring that property placemaking efforts are supported by locals – and that they belong.
These are just a few insights we have to share with you around great property placemaking, but we’ve got a lot more to talk about on the subject.