Renewing Urban Spaces for Community & Commercial Gain

This article explores one aspect of the role that POMO plays in these important projects - the creation of an urban renewal design strategy.

Transforming privately owned public spaces into thriving community and commercial environments is helping lead the revitalisation of town centres around Australia.

Urban renewal projects involve a number of professionals working within their own fields. This can involve architects, planners, building designers, placemakers and often many others. What is crucial to success is having a strategy to ensure that the development is appropriate for the local community and delivers real community value.

Our guiding philosophy in such projects is:

‘Nothing can sustain itself over time or be successful unless people are invested it in emotionally or intellectually.’

While not a new concept in itself, it seems to be easily forgotten. Privately owned public space must be renewed in a way that brings the community into the process because ultimately it will be them that make the place a success in the long term. This is where a “bottom up” approach is required.

We begin by undertaking some degree of community engagement to find out about local community needs. Every community wants to have a say about what happens in their town and what kind of development they would like to see. This data is combined with a deep analysis of local history and culture.

What is generated is a document that forms the basis of an urban renewal design strategy - a locally appropriate community-centred strategy. This strategy is prepared by POMO and it outlines how the built environment design might be guided by and respond to the information unearthed during the research and consultation process.

We believe that urban renewal projects require a careful and thoughtful approach to generate a philosophical and strategic foundation to underpin a successful design process. This methodology can be contrasted with a traditional top down view which is driven primarily by property economics and architectural interventions that can easily be lost on the local community. An economically sound outcome can be achieved with a community driven design process.

An effective design strategy can help to create something that the community will get behind and support. If done right, this process can have a number of benefits such as invigorating local businesses, opening up cultural and entertainment options and providing active places for young people - all of which promote broader social benefits.

Our aim is to create meaningful strategies to connect real people to real places, we start with a human-centred, bottom up approach where we put the desires and needs of the community at the heart of the design process.

-POMO creates an urban renewal design strategy founded upon community engagement, cultural and historical research and public space analysis.
-The design strategy is used to bring focus to the design process which creates changes in the built environment.
-The overall vision is always to create a place that is vibrant, active and deeply engaged with the needs of the local community.

POMO can help you to renew your public space, if you have a project that POMO can help you with email us.

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