great place guide (a guide to making great places)

  • 2020

  • Communication

Designed In:


The Great Places Guide presents a practical approach to placemaking, informed by the City Renewal Authority’s ‘people-first’ philosophy. The guide is for people who have an interest in best-practise urban renewal and who want to create environments that build on their unique characters and community.

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Image: Patrick Rose
Image: Patrick Rose
Image: Patrick Rose
Image: Patrick Rose
Image: Patrick Rose
Image: Patrick Rose
Image: Patrick Rose
Image: Patrick Rose
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  • Placemaking is a philosophy for planning, designing, and managing public spaces that encourages community leadership in the evolution of a place. The Authority’s challenge was to communicate the movement of placemaking - dating back to the 1960s - along with our own urban renewal approach, into less than 50 pages of content so it would be suitable for people with any level of experience or interest in urban renewal. From architects to investors, builders to bakers, designers to coffee makers we wanted a guide that at its core is for everyone.

  • The Great Place Guide describes the steps for realising successful renewal outcomes and creating memorable places where people want to spend time. A city full of places that people love, and love to use, should be the goal for anyone involved in shaping the city environment. This guide is designed to communicate how this can be achieved and aims to inspire people to incorporate the steps into their design practice and everyday life.

  • The Great Place Guide is a rally-cry for placemaking, the proverbial ‘toe in the water’ to what many consider a confusing landscape. The ultimate impact of this guide will be to positively influence local industry and community; to inspire improvements and collaboration across design disciplines, boardroom tables, and streetscapes.

  • The design of the Great Place Guide describes the generative process for placemaking and the community results that will be achieved. From the front cover, the aesthetics of the book have been chosen for their warm and friendly appeal. The guide serves as an object; an expression of solutions to real-world problems, presented in a way that is as accessible as possible. The Authority developed a solution (based on the work of Miles Tinker) to use lower case letters for the guide’s cover and chapter titles. The decision, backed by psychological studies identifies that lower-case letters are by nature “friendly.” The subsequent variation of shape in the characters caused by the contrast of ascenders and descenders softens the impact of the titles. This works to make them feel more like verbs than nouns converting what would be seen as “instruction” to “conversation” inspiring the reader to take action.