We have checklists which can help us evaluate the quality of a place and identify opportunities for improvement. These tools are useful in the context stage of place creation and in the development assessment process.
Image: participants in a face to face training course undertaking a place audit.
How healthy is your high street? A simple new health check to help local business people spot early signs of decline in their High Street is launched today
The 'Healthy High Street' guide is the first of its kind: a practical aid to help local businesses, councils and community organisations spot the early warning signs and prevent further degeneration.
The guide was produced with the help of business organisations, high street traders and town centre managers and is based on their real life experiences. It includes tips such as:
- How to check on whether an area is attractive to customers.
- Seeing if there are good parking and public transport facilities.
- Looking at the variety of shops on offer.
It then helps people to work together to draw up an action plan for what needs to change to rejuvenate the area and put that plan into action.
Placecheck is a method of assessing the qualities of a place, showing what improvements are needed, and focusing people on working together to achieve them. If necessary, a Placecheck can start small: with half a dozen people round a kitchen table or a small group meeting on a street corner. It can cover a street (or part of one), a neighbourhood, a town centre, or a whole district or city. The setting might be urban, suburban or a village. The initiative can come from anyone, in any organisation or sector. Placecheck is a simple method for involving a community available. It requires the minimum of resources and preparation. It is ideal for paving the way for other means of community engagement.
Developed by the Urban Design Alliance in the 1990s, Placecheck is now in widespread use in communities throughout the United Kingdom. Select the parts of the place check which may be useful to your area. We think that Placecheck maybe a little back to front and tend to use section 2 for an audit and section 1 to generate ideas - tell us what you think.
While this audit is targeted to users of the places, it is a useful tool for experienced urban designers. It helps to shift our paradigm and see a site from different perspectives.
The Safety Audit Program (QLD Police Service) is for people who want to feel safer in their public space and who are prepared to do something towards achieving it. Safety audits aim to reduce opportunities for crime, particularly violent crime, in public places. They help to make public places like parks, bus stops and streets safe for everyone. Safety audits are conducted by members of the community about any crime related safety concerns they have about an area in their neighbourhood. Once completed, an audit will make recommendations to the appropriate authorities and owners of the space for removing or reducing identified opportunities for crime.
The following resources will help you conduct an audit:
- CPTED Guidelines for Queensland – Part B Implementation Guide. Chapter 4, includes a checklist to use when conducting your safety audit.
- The Practical Worksheet will help you apply CPTED concepts to a site and identify ways to adjust the physical environment for community safety and crime prevention purposes.
- The CPTED Guidelines for Queensland – Part A Essential features of safer places provides information about CPTED principles.
Spaceshaper is a practical toolkit to measure the quality of a public space before investing time and money in improving it. Spaceshaper captures the views of professionals who are running the space as well as those of the people that use the space. Approved facilitators discuss the results, design quality and how the space works for different people in a workshop environment. It encourages people to demand more from their local spaces.
What is Spaceshaper for?
- bring staff and users together to discuss the space
- identify the strengths and weaknesses of the space
- measure how well the space meets everyone's needs
- track changes in people's views.
Parks and Leisure Australia can provide you with more information.
Audits - South Australia, Australia
Elizabeth Town Square, Adelaide, SA, AUS (1.41 MB)
Audits - Queensland, Australia
Audits - New South Wales, Australia
Audits - Western Australia, Australia
Audits - Victoria, Australia
Audits - Tasmania, Australia
Audits - Northern Territory, Australia
Audits - India
Audits - USA