15-minute neighbourhoods: reimagining town centres

A few weeks ago, we discussed how – for the foreseeable future – we’ll all be enjoying the areas closer to home. While travel is restricted, or perhaps just not as appealing as it once was, we’re looking locally for the enjoyment, experiences, and commodities we’re used to. Enter the concept of the 15-minute neighbourhood. These are urban experiments that set out to “offer services and quality of life within

Falling in love with places

Falling in love with places: Learning to love your neighbourhood When we think of the places we love, it’s easy to think of the underrated city that caught you off guard on a business trip or that serene, nostalgic town your family escaped to during your childhood. But what about where you are right now? As the world is set to remain a lot smaller for the foreseeable future, perhaps

Our approach to wayfinding: legible cities, master plans, and starting from scratch

Wayfinding is about so much more than signs and directions. While these are a large part of what we do, wayfinding is about the overall experience of a space as much as it’s about the specific navigation and orientation of it. It’s how people view, perceive, and enjoy the area they’re in. How people move around a city will directly inform their understanding of it. In this sense, wayfinding becomes

How can we expect public spaces to change in the new normal?

As the weeks pass, we’re seeing a shift from ‘daily survival’ to ‘planning what a new normal might be’. As we look towards the gradual end of the lockdown, we can start to speculate what the future might look like and identify the lessons we’ll take away from the past few months. Here at Placemarque, this involves hypothesizing what behavioural changes we might see, how we’ll approach locations differently, and

What is a place without people?

At Placemarque, site visits are a massive part of what we do. We immerse ourselves in these locations as part of a process to understand how they work as places, we examine how people arrive, explore, experience, and navigate through an area. We talk to people and we watch how they interact with their environment. So, as you can imagine, given the current lockdown regulations, our working days have become

How we find it here

Image Source: Kera Till It’s been a couple of weeks now since everyone who could work remotely packed up their desks and made space in their homes. Whilst the work continues, it’s at a different pace, interspersed with home-schooling for some, video calls, DIY haircuts and purposeful exercise. In the calm and quiet of social distancing, here’s what we’ve noticed about how people are engaging with place. With only an

How will Father Christmas know where to find me?

Most of us can remember the good old days where addresses were simple. Every street looked more or less the same. We had the comforting certainty of odd numbers on one side, even on the other. And our navigation instincts were only required when faced with the unfamiliarity of a cul-de-sac. But now, as roads expand vertically as opposed to horizontally, addresses aren’t so straightforward. We’ve been plunged into the

When should you use digital wayfinding? A retail case study

Placemarque recently conducted a wayfinding analysis for Royal Victoria Place, an indoor shopping centre in Tunbridge Wells. It’s a medium-sized mall of about 100 outlets plus a food court and its revamp is part of British Land’s refurbishment aiming to encourage more retailers as well as shoppers to the centre. Good wayfinding can be the difference between shoppers viewing a mall as an efficient, opportunistic and dry place to shop

Smart City and Connectivity

Connectivity means different things to different people. In July 2019, Placemarque director Sophie Campbell delivered a presentation about connectivity to a room of proptech professionals in Manchester. Whilst other presenters talked about bandwidth, BIM, subscription models and financing, we look at connectivity in terms of people and place. And only sometimes do we use tech. Disconnected communities cost the UK economy money because people spend money in their community. They