Why should housing developers be embracing placemaking?

In the ever-evolving landscape of urban development, the significance of placemaking cannot be overstated, and housing developers, now more than ever, should be embracing this approach. 

Placemaking is a multifaceted approach to urban planning and design that focuses on creating and enhancing public spaces in a way that fosters a sense of community, improves the quality of life for residents, and encourages social interaction.

What are the aspects of good placemaking?

Good placemaking encompasses a multitude of aspects, all converging to create environments that thrive on the principles of wellbeing, economic growth, community, environmental sustainability, accessible facilities, and diverse housing types:

  • Wellbeing – Covers access to green spaces and nature, safety and security, a sense of pride, walkability and opportunities to ‘pause and connect’ with nature and each other.
  • Economic growth – Caters to a diverse workforce, ongoing job opportunities and creation, where residents can find meaningful work; connectivity for all workers, local ownership and local value.
  • Community – An inclusive place that caters to all, a diverse population – reflecting local cultures, community hubs, social integration and inclusion and the autonomy for the community to evolve organically.
  • Environment – Access to green spaces, supporting local, small business – food production, coffee shops – and increased sustainable transportation links like walking and cycling.
  • Accessible facilities – Leisure opportunities with connections to public transport; inclusive design and strategically integrated and appropriate facilities for the area – schools, doctors, library etc.
  • Housing types – Providing a mix of housing types to cater to all socio-economic backgrounds that form the foundation of a socially balanced community. Future-proof design incorporating energy efficient design, electric vehicle facilities, air-source heat pumps (ASHP) and solar panels.

Why is placemaking important to communities?

At its core, placemaking goes beyond just constructing buildings; it empowers the very heart of the community – the residents themselves. When residents have a say in the design and functionality of their neighbourhoods, it creates a profound sense of belonging and pride in the place they call home. 

These strong, cohesive communities, where residents are invested in their surroundings, are not only beneficial for the present but also lay the foundation for generations to come, ensuring that the essence of what makes a place unique is preserved and celebrated.

In a world where urban development often risks losing sight of the human element, placemaking reminds us that the most valuable asset of any community is its people, and nurturing that sense of identity and togetherness is the key to a thriving future.

Why should placemaking be important to developers?

For housing developers, embracing placemaking is more than just a socially responsible endeavour; it’s a strategic imperative that can amplify their impact and bottom line.

In the competitive housing market, a well-planned, vibrant community can be the deciding factor for potential customers. Developing somewhere that residents can envision having a future translates directly into increased profits. 

Placemaking also serves as a powerful profile-raising tool, setting developers apart in a competitive marketplace. By creating spaces that people not only inhabit but genuinely love, developers establish a sense of customer loyalty, ensuring a strong reputation and repeat business. 

The legacy of placemaking isn’t just financial; it’s about creating geographical landmarks, leaving a lasting imprint on the landscape. Developers, by championing placemaking, don’t just build houses; they craft communities, enhance lives, and create geographical legacies that stand the test of time.

Placemaking in action: Nansledan, Cornwall

Good placemaking stands at the intersection of thoughtful design, community needs, and environmental consciousness. Nansledan in Cornwall, stands as a shining example of this. 

Spearheaded by the Duchy of Cornwall, this 218-hectare Community Development initiative goes beyond traditional housing development. It encapsulates a diverse mix of businesses, including artisan shops, cozy cafes, independent restaurants, functional offices, and essential health and leisure facilities. 

With its focus on catering to everyone, the community has been designed to promote social interaction, economic growth, and environmental consciousness. By seamlessly blending living spaces with commercial ventures and essential amenities, Nansledan fosters a sense of belonging among its residents, making it a true embodiment of a thriving, multifaceted community. 

To find out more about the development – https://nansledan.com/

For more news and insights from our team, head here. And if you’ve got a placemaking project in the works, visit our Built Environment page and see how we can help communicate your vision.