As an organisation we focus on three key areas of Placemaking competence, namely visitor attractions both cultural and leisure, urban regeneration with a focus on historical districts and finally culture and heritage assets. Transversal interests to all of these areas is the thread of cultural-tourism with which we are very familiar, together with solutions for accessibility and public realm.
Placemaking is a new “art” (which sounds fashionable) but it is also a science which is very demanding if it is to be done properly. A successful project has to identify, harness and build upon the DNA of a place, whether it’s a museum or a historical district, to fully achieve its purpose and attract the necessary buy-in from its community. And because the DNA of each opportunity is unique, it becomes very demanding in terms of the various skillsets and creativity required because there are no repeat performances in this field.
However great the idea of Placemaking may sound, at the end of the day someone has to foot the bill and needs a sound justification for the options taken. That’s why the “scientific” part of what we do is so important. We need to understand what each place needs and can potentially support, and that comes down to understanding the market and its end-users. If you don’t understand that properly, you have a recipe for creating a white-elephant. And whether the project is intended to make a profit or not, the promoter should know what he’s letting himself in for. So we spend a lot of effort developing a credible model, because there’s nothing like a bottom-line to focus people’s thoughts! Then we wrap this all up into a master-plan together with the various technical inputs from our historians, engineers, architects and whatever other skills may be necessary for each project to produce an integrated working document with which to go forward to the development and, if required, into the operational management of a project.
Our clients have real issues to address and need innovative and well-structured solutions to be able to resolve them and obtain the funding for their implementation. They also have little time for academic and experimental ideas, however well-intentioned they may be. We are fortunate to be able to harness the best of local knowledge in creatively sustainable solutions while at the same time adapting tried and tested ideas from our partners abroad.
We are full of enthusiasm about our project Placemakers ®, which has the advantage of an important pedigree in Consultal, being at the same time absolutely contemporary and in tune with current international holistic thought on creating and managing successful places.