April 27, 2021
How Community Placemaking Prioritizes Residential Well-Being
If a person's life could be viewed as a play, land planners would be the set designers. Though they work behind the scenes, they have the power to set the backdrop for every shining moment, plot twist, and milestone. When viewed through this lens, your role can be seen for what it truly is: an essential part of a life's story.
After all, effective placemaking can even serve as much more than just a background. Your work can play a role in the health, relationships, happiness, and even lifespan of your residents. Thoughtful planning fosters community participation, active lifestyles, and even safer roads. You wouldn't think that certain types of roadside elements could help prevent distracted driving, but that's exactly what one community in Iowa found.
If you're going to be setting the stage, you're going to want a strong team on your side. Milesbrand is here to help you make the connection between your placemaking work and residents' well-being.
Community Placemaking and Well-Being
With great power comes great responsibility. Although much of placemaking focuses on aesthetics and design, the true heart of a land planner’s mission lies in function and the future. The way you establish your community will have implications for both society and individuals. By laying the groundwork for a thriving, growing village, you can attract new businesses, jobs, and economic growth to a region.
Allotting space for community centers and gathering areas will naturally increase recreation, involvement, and individuals' sense of belonging. They could also serve as the meeting grounds for lifelong friendships. With an eye for design and the details, your placemaking can effortlessly add appeal to life-changing habits — whether they be healthy lifestyle choices, socialization, or volunteerism.
With all factors considered, the true value of placemaking is revealed. It goes beyond just making a community more marketable. It's about improving lives on the path to remarkable.
Crucial Aspects of Community Placemaking
Identifying the "what" aspect of amenities isn't too difficult. When you hear the word, you likely conjure up images of community centers, parks, pools, and more. But to make the largest and best impact on your residents, it's time we start focusing on the "why." With a better understanding of why communities need amenities, you can help ensure that your land layout is utilizing them as effectively as possible.
For example, if you install a pool to encourage play and bonding among younger residents, you'll want to create a space that's safe and easy for kids to access. Perhaps the pool deck will be located off the bike path.
It's not enough to just offer many amenities — although that's always a plus. To introduce true value to your community, each addition needs to be high-quality and interwoven with the rest of your land map. It's not just quality over quantity, it's connectivity over quantity.
This aspect of placemaking is easily overlooked within communities. After all, as a land planner, you're primarily focusing on how to get residents moving into your development — not worrying about how they're going to get out.
Still, swift transportation can be a huge selling point for some consumers, and can also help residents feel less limited by your space. By working accessibility and convenience into your design, you can create a community that naturally empowers and grows with residents.
Thoughtful transportation placemaking can appear in many different forms. One simple way to make your residents feel safer is routing wider streets with defined bike lanes. As you'd expect, encouraging residents to bike or walk to different locations is a huge part of placemaking's contribution to human and environmental health. These impacts can be made greater through simple steps planning for broader streets or sidewalks.
In some cases, you may want to look into public transportation options for your residents. Although earning a bus stop for your community can seem like a complicated step, it can make a huge difference. For some, public transportation is an absolute necessity for affordable access to jobs and essential services. It's also a wonderful eco-friendly option for all!
Some transportation features can just be for fun. Routing trails and providing easy access points to these off-road adventures can add a lot of community appeal.
Creative placemaking has the unique ability to inform an area's identity — whether that's culturally, artistically, architecturally, aesthetically...you name it. In turn, your residents can gain a piece of their identity from the community. Although this can seem like a lot of pressure, it's also an incredible opportunity to offer consumers a great benefit. Land planners who make a commitment to fostering wholesome, welcoming community values can greatly contribute to the themes and identities of residents' lives.
Of course, you want to leave room for your residents to feel a sense of ownership over their space and allow it to grow with them. However, by taking the time to plan for spaces that encourage group discussion, mutual understanding, and local pride, residents will gain empathy for each other and take on a responsibility to protect the place that they've come to know as home.
Placemaking is a huge job, and we can't blame you if you get stage fright. Fortunately, Milesbrand is here to be with you from opening night to the final bow. As a company, we exist to help you put your best foot forward. After years of working with home builders and real estate developers, we're aware of the tremendous effort it takes to create and market communities. That's why we work with brands from start to finish — helping develop an amazing community and helping ensure the rest of the world knows how great it is, too.
We've done award-winning work, and it's all made possible through partnerships with our awe-inspiring clients. If you're ready to plan your community, market your brand, and transform the lives of your residents, contact Milesbrand today.