30 Oct 2019

Places are meant for people. They’re the points at which we intersect, where we come together. For centuries, suburbs, towns and cities have thrived or declined based on the places that exist within them.

Creating people-focused places for Australia and the broader Asia-Pacific region is our opportunity to shape a better future: to meet growing populations, new workforce trends, shifting economies and ever-evolving family and lifestyle routines.

At Urbis we apply a people-centred perspective to mine the potential of a place, to unlock as much value as we can for all of the stakeholders invested.

We do this because we know that’s how to create great places – by valuing the people who will use and benefit from it.

Place matters because it’s the essence of any connected, inclusive and vibrant community. It affords us a sense of belonging and camaraderie, among workers, residents and visitors. It’s multi-dimensional and made up of attributes unique to its location and purpose. It’s a focus point for diversity and culture in our society.

When we invest in place, we:

  • Strengthen the connection between people and the places they share
  • Spark a celebrative process for communities to shape the public realm
  • Maximise the shared value in physical, cultural and social elements of place
  • Encourage an ongoing evolution, a chance for a place to grow and flourish.

To be successful – whether commercially, socially or environmentally – a great place often needs to reflect a meaningful approach from a range of disciplines.

A great place embodies sociability, promotes diversity and is inclusive. It reflects the cultural and environmental identity of the area and demonstrates a mutually beneficial relationship between elements.

It encourages a sense of pride and feeling of safety by offering a variety of things to do at different times of the day and year. A great place is shared by multiple stakeholders and sustains itself in the long-term. 

One dimensional places and precincts are a thing of the past. Our lives are increasingly busy and we are overrun with new options. If a place is to succeed now and, in the future, it needs to be borne of new thinking.

New development is no longer project-driven. It’s place-driven. Great places emerge from valuing the elements of a successful place from the outset, by focusing on place outcomes that come from community engagement and turning proximity into purpose. 

Multi-dimensional in nature, a great place relies on variety to thrive. This diversity is at the heart of creating a sense of place. The more there is to offer in a place or location, the more likely it is that the space will start to reverberate with energy, attracting more people and more diversity. This in turn, gives any new place a greater chance of success over time.

Measuring the value of place is critical to see a return – and to ensure people and their communities have the elements they need to stay vibrant into the future.

Traditionally, the success of a development was measured solely in economic terms. Today we’re more strategic in how we shape and monitor the success of places.

At Urbis, we know a successful place delivers on multiple dimensions. This is one of the reasons we developed the Value of Place Framework for capturing value and techniques to measure four distinct pillars of value:

  • Commercial Value (Financial)
  • Economic/Fiscal Value
  • Environmental & Sustainable Value
  • Social & Community Value
Urbis’ Value of Place Framework. Click to enlarge.


These four values are intertwined and co-dependent. In a great place, these values are often all present. Most importantly, at Urbis, with this model, we can identify and quantify each of these values.

Multi-dimensional places require collaborative processes to bring their diversity to life.

By understanding all the elements supporting successful places and being equipped with the tools needed to unlock value, we are in a unique position to help more developers and investors build great places for the future.

Download your copy of ‘Shaping Spaces for People: Measuring the Value of Place‘ by clicking the thumbnail below. 

Shaping Spaces for People - Click to download

We’d love to talk to you about shaping places that are not only inclusive and attractive, but also socially and economically valuable.

Connect with a member of our #cityshaper team by clicking on their profile below. 

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