Place Roles

Now we appreciate the qualities of successful places and how we might deliver them, who creates the places we like? Who typically participates in the delivery of urban design and the creation of these places?

Queen St Mall - Brisbane, QLD, AUS   Image: Brisbane's subtropical Queen Street Mall. One of the few successful pedestrian only places in Australia. Facilitated by night uses including cinemas, restaurants and bars. Designed for different functions – including performance spaces. Some suggest it might be a little cluttered...? What do you think?

It is obvious that good urban design cannot be achieved in a vacuum - there are many parties, factors, conditions, tools and ways and means affecting the end result.

Planning for change in the physical, social and economic fabric of places is now increasingly seen as a holistic process, which occurs with the input and efforts of many professionals, developers and local communities. As briefly discussed in Place Process, meeting the needs and aspirations of users - residents, workers and visitors - of the places being created is central to successful placemaking (CABE, 2004).

Urban design... is a process that involves politicians; a wide range of people with a stake in an area; and many different kinds of professionals. A successful outcome depends on these people working effectively together. Every day countless decisions are made that have the potential to make a piece of a city, town or village a little more lively, welcoming and pleasant, or a little more hostile, unpleasant or unsafe. These decisions can enhance or erode a place’s distinctive character. Some of these decisions concern major developments. But even the overall effect of many small developments, such as house extensions, shopfronts and infill schemes, can change a place dramatically for the better or worse over only a few years. By focusing on quality in urban design and architecture, the planning system can make a difference.

(Urban Initiatives, 2003, p. 3)

Stakeholders in Place Creation

Based on the process described in the place process section, the table estimates a scale of involvement by participant. The darker shade implies a stronger involvement in the stage. This is a simplified representation of the process. Consider where you feature in the process, along with politicians, developers, etc.

You can see that design team has less of a role in the aspiration stage. We believe that this should be developed by the client with the stakeholders and the users. It’s not set in stone though - the design team can modify it later. The stakeholders and community should input into site context – after all they know it! Design should be led by the design team – with input from the others. Delivery is led by the client with activity by the stakeholders eg new Council library. Given that urban places are best owned publicly, the community takes control during management – with support from government.

The following sections provide more detail:

Place Roles E-Workbook

We offer a Place Roles E-Workbook as part of our E-Learning series. The workbook provides a bite sized chunk of interactive urban design and placemaking learning and has a range of information, references and links which you can read at your leisure.

Each workbook in the E-learning series includes an assessment which is interactive with our website and tests your understanding through a mix of content and reflective questions. This preview shows the style and layout, table of contents and reflective questions. You can purchase this E-Workbook, or any of the others from the series, from our shop.

Latest information

Available in PPT on slideshare - Place Roles

Urban design focus in PPT on slideshare - Place Roles

Additional Information

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