Creating a place? Ask these 4 questions

Making places – building pieces of city, creating value, and changing the way that future generations will live, work, relax and interact – isn’t simple.

In real estate development, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day whirlwind of urgent decisions and concentrate on the bricks and mortar. But in a congested and rapidly moving market, it is critical to develop a distinct and appropriate proposition, and to embed place thinking in the architecture, the development and the marketing strategy.

To help our clients talk about place, we created a game which asks questions that that they will need to answer over the next few years. Here are four questions from our deck to help you start a place conversation with your team.

1. What was the last great place you visited and what made it great?

If you want to create places that people want to visit, stay in, live in, work in or shop in, then understanding what makes a great place for people is critical. Describing great place experiences using examples from other neighbourhoods, cities or developments – and unpacking what made it so memorable – can help reveal strategies to inform your thinking and approach.

2. What other place is this project like?

Having a vision means sharing a clear idea of what you’re making, why you’re making it, and for whom. Sometimes, these ambitions get described in generic terms, which often are interpreted in different ways, by different people. Articulating your project vision in relation to other places can bring clarity and consensus.

3. What do you think this project means to this city?

Your place will not exist in isolation – you are creating a piece of city. Asking this question can remind your team of stakeholders’ and the public’s perceptions and aspirations for the project, which will meaningfully root your big ideas and vision into your context and city, helping to create a loved, successful place.

4. Tell us something you love about this project or company.

Having a vision and an actionable strategy is only part of the formula to deliver a great place – you also need a team who understands it, shares it and deploys it. Sharing individual aspirations and motivations for the project can strengthen the team and underpin the place vision.

At MurrayTwohig, our approach starts by helping development teams answer the vital questions about the place they are creating and giving them the tools to deliver it.