Placemaking has long been the buzzword of the real estate world, but aside from the anecdotal benefits it has often been hard to measure the tangible advantages, that is, until now.
Looking at 11 global placemaking initiatives in the UK, Australia, USA, Italy, Denmark, Germany, France and South Korea, CBRE together with Gehl Architects have examined the ways in which public spaces contribute to the human experience of urban areas and create long-term real estate value, both before and after the public realm intervention has taken place.
In London, Granary Square, King’s Cross formed part of the study. The results in this location are of particular interest from a real estate perspective, with the stand-out performers being retail and residential. While average house prices in prime Central London rose by 48% between 2011 and 2016, average prices in King’s Cross have increased by 61%. There has also been a marked improvement in retail quality with strong brands attracted to the location, where retailers are attracted by increased dwell time amongst users of the area. It is concluded that this is a function of the quality of the public realm adding to the human experience, combined with the fact it offers both good connectivity and a community feel. It is concluded by the study that without the introduction of high-quality design of the public realm, this vast new area of development would struggle, or at least would not have been as successful, in establishing a reputation in the market as a desirable location for retailers, employers, residents and visitors alike.