Home' Commercial : Commercial Building and Design 2013 Contents 114 SCOOP Commercial Building & Design 2013
Essays | Sense of place
space allocation, heights and density; the other
(led by place making consultancy Place Partners),
working on the ‘soft infrastructure’. This includes
identifying future public places and their purpose,
community building opportunities and public art.
For a project with a 20- to 40-year development
timeline, which takes in over 300ha, and which
will have more than 15000 residents in the future,
this is a significant challenge, but it is one that has
allowed everyone to see the future place holistically.
Yet it’s not just the professionals and big
businesses that are adopting place making
disciplines. One of the fastest growing trends
internationally is community-led place making,
also known as tactical urbanism, ‘lighter quicker
cheaper’, collaborative urbanism, or citizen-
Projects such as community gardens, temporary
parks, food markets, pop-up shops and restaurants
and the like are the result of increasingly active
communities – people who value their public realm
and their town centres, who want them improved,
and who are willing to put their hands up and get
involved in making those changes happen.
Even more exciting is where these two sides
merge, to the benefit of both community and
developer. This has been the case at both Brookfield
Place and one40william, which have experimented
with pop-up businesses on short term leases,
subsidies, and paid commission agreements in order
to activate empty retail spaces prior to permanent
tenants moving in. This gives small creative
businesses the opportunity to explore their own
sustainability, as well as acting as a marketing tool
and magnet for people to visit the developments.
Place making isn’t just about a bottom line
on a spreadsheet: it’s a living ecosystem of complex
and changing relationships between economic
feasibility today and the local economy tomorrow.
It considers current users and people who arrive
in 10 years, and assesses the relationship between
buildings and the street life they support, as well
as many other factors.
One of the questions I get asked a lot is whether
place making itself is a trend that will perhaps
fade away. To those people I answer: cities are
increasingly complex and demanding systems,
and cannot be the sole responsibility of any one
organisation. To make urban environments that
we as human beings can value and enjoy, we all
need to contribute. Place making provides the
vehicle for that level of collaboration.
Arch, by Lorenna Grant, highlights the corner of Lake
and James streets in Northbridge as a cultural hub.
The $1 million Grow Your Own sculpture
by James Angus in Forrest Place.
Morrison’s pop-up concept store
at Brookfield Place is one of the State’s
finest exercises in place making to date.
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