Public realm design adds value

How do we know economic benefit flows on from improving public urban spaces?

Good public realm design can measurably improve a public space. Most often recognised are the beautification and positive environmental and social outcomes but commercial benefits to local businesses are also tangible.

In an article recently published in Commercial Design Trends (Vol.30, No.10A), Boffa Miskell landscape architect, Michael Hawes, discusses the need to incorporate features in public realm design that will add sustainable economic value for local businesses. This involves understanding the needs of the community and businesses, consideration of transport, services and amenities in the place.

Michael summarises the post-completion evaluation of the Fort Street area upgrade (stage 1), designed by Boffa Miskell for Auckland Council. The upgrade was one of a series of streetscape upgrades undertaken in the Auckland CBD in recent years. The evaluation records significant actual and perceived improvements for surrounding businesses and properties. It demonstrates that long-term economic benefit can be an outcome of the design process, where adding economic value is an objective.

For further information please contact Michael Hawes

10 March 2015