A Sense of Place

Hong Kong Tatler Homes - - FRONT PAGE - writes Richard War­ren

De­vel­op­ers are look­ing to put the soul back into cities with de­vel­op­ments that de­liver more than the sum of their parts

De­vel­op­ers are look­ing to put the soul back into cities with de­vel­op­ments that de­liver more than the sum of their parts,

One of the dic­tionary def­i­ni­tions of the word “place” is “a per­son’s home.” Just as we might turn a house into a home by fill­ing it with soft fur­nish­ings, heart-warm­ing me­men­toes and art­works, so de­vel­op­ers, ur­ban plan­ners and ar­chi­tects look to trans­form unloved dis­tricts into des­ti­na­tions peo­ple will want to call home. They call this process “place-mak­ing.”

These large-scale de­vel­op­ments are de­signed to cre­ate not merely a col­lec­tion of new build­ings, but a com­mu­nity that in­cludes shops, of­fices, leisure fa­cil­i­ties, cul­tural venues, trans­port links and even schools and med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties.

Ini­tially mooted in the 1960s as a means to re­vive com­mu­ni­ties, place-mak­ing has be­come the fash­ion­able ap­proach to holis­tic ur­ban rede­vel­op­ment in cities around the world, from Lon­don to Los An­ge­les to Shang­hai and be­yond.

Place-mak­ing sweeps away the old plan­ning prac­tice of zon­ing homes, shops and of­fices into sep­a­rate dis­tricts. In­stead, they are clus­tered to­gether so each ac­tiv­ity ben­e­fits the other. For ex­am­ple, stores and restau­rants at­tract of­fice work­ers and home­buy­ers, be­cause peo­ple like to shop and so­cialise close to where they live and work. To help cre­ate that all-im­por­tant sense of place, pub­lic art is also in­stalled, and pub­lic spa­ces for con­certs and so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties are pro­vided.

Con­nected liv­ing Playa Vista in Los An­ge­les aims to be the com­plete live­work-play pack­age

LA Con­fi­den­tial Clock­wise from top right: Jewel Homes of­fers luxe liv­ing in Sil­i­con Beach; Playa Vista is a beach­side tech hub; an out­door en­ter­tain­ing area in Jewel Homes

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