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Placemaking Idea Evaluation Tool

Too many ideas to improve your streets, squares and places? This criterion tool will guide prioritisation to focus action. 

Queen St, Nambour, QLD, AUS: Kieth Lipske has been cutting hair from this shop for 60 years this November!Queen St, Nambour, QLD, AUS: Kieth Lipske has been cutting hair from this shop for 60 years this November!Written by: Andrew Hammonds


As Steve Jobs said, “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully”.

We've been helping the locals of Nambour and Bangalow to produce Placemaking Action Maps. These are based on the information and ideas they generated in Place Creation training and workshops.

We developed this criterion to contribute to the decision making process - rather than dictate it. It needs to be endorsed by the stakeholders and reviewed regularly, perhaps annually. It incorporates ideas from the D.I.C.E. Framework for Change

Twenty five criteria filter the ideas generated to improve places. They have also been weighted (in brackets) based on the DICE Framework and gut feel! Obviously, these can be adjusted based on stakeholder feedback. 

Criteria: Why

1. This action supports the aspiration (5)
2. Resolves problems (4)
3. Focus’ on users (existing and target) (4)
4. Is strategic (3)
5. Is reportable (4)
6. Is brand focused (4)
7. Is beneficial (3)

Criteria: What

8. Makes Places (6)
9. Is remarkable (5)
10. Contributes (4)
11. Is tested (5)
12. Reinforces our streets and places (3)

Station St, Bangalow, NSW, AUS: the locals and council staff discussing ideas as part of our walking tour. The A&I Hall was established in 1911.Station St, Bangalow, NSW, AUS: the locals and council staff discussing ideas as part of our walking tour. The A&I Hall was established in 1911.Criteria: Who

13. Is led (3)
14. Is owned (3)
15. Support’s diversity (5)
16. Is executable (5)

Criteria: How

17. Is implementable (3)
18. Is achievable (3)
19. Is innovative (3)
20. Is funded (5)
21. Is ‘business as usual’ (3)
22. Is backed (5)
23. Is supported (3)

Criteria: When

24. Is focused (5)
25. Is defined (4)

Idea in Practice

Ideas are awarded points relative to their ability to support the Placemaking outcome proposed in the criteria. For example:
Criteria 1 This action supports the aspiration (weighting of 5)

  • Reinforces Vision and objectives (points:5)
  • New idea or place (points:2)

Multiply the points by the weighting to calculate the score of this idea against the criteria. So an idea which "Reinforces Vision and objectives points" would be awarded 5 points to be multiplied by the weighting (5) giving a total score for this criterion of 25. I have developed a spreadsheet for the calculations.

Actions may be generated when ideas score low points. For example in Criteria One a new idea could modify the vision or objectives or a new place could generate a new Placemaking Action Map. 

You can download the Bangalow Idea Evaluation Criterion (58.46 KB) to see all the points available per criterion. 

Any feedback on this tool?


We generate discussion in our training courses on Placemaking and urban design. While there are common qualities to the places we like, our own views matter. I started this blog to continue this discussion on-line. The Comments section at the bottom of each article provides the opportunity, so don't be bashful. Particularly if you disagree!

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Written: 11 July, 2016

Additional Information

Introduction to Placemaking and Urban DesignWhat type of Placemaking is best for your situation?

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