What do you think of our place in Halswell? How do you meet people here? Where are the public spaces where you can bump into people? How do we create public spaces where people can meet, hang out, and enjoy the ambience? What would we need to create to draw people into these spaces?
These are the sorts of questions that the art of Placemaking aims to answer. The “power of 10” is one principle that we could think about to make our places more attractive.
What is the power of 10? Well … the idea is that a place has about 10 things to draw people – these can be quite simple things eg seating, shops, play areas, trees/ garden areas, art works, music, history, food. The thing is that there is a mixture of things - just having 10 shops does not make a place attractive in the sense of allowing people to hang out. Likewise 10 artworks probaby won't do it on their own either. A great place caters for the very young and the very old as well as those in between. Events can also help to make a place more of a place by drawing people in at regular intervals.
The Power of 10 also applies to suburbs – an attractive suburb has about 10 places with about 10 things, and attractive city might have about 10 suburbs with 10 places with 10 things .. and so on.
To me, the principle of the power of 10 is something that could help us start thinking about how to build great community spaces in Halswell. How might we work with the supermarket etc to make the space around it more attractive? Could we have some space there for trees, art, play facilities, seating – some space that is free of cars and designed for people to hang out? What would it take and how would it make Halswell feel? One thing is sure. I'd spend more time and probably more money there if it were fun to go there! What about you?