Public Realm: in the spotlight.

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Last modified on 03/07/2018

We’ve decided to spotlight the area of public realm because of everything it has come to mean in recent years. 

We all know of public realm; areas in your towns and cities that have elevated an entire community, that have become places to gather, chill and enjoy living in.

As an initially really reticent Wembley resident and I have seen first-hand how investment, a strategic and supportive local authority and the private sector can come together to create a space that is inviting, lively and enhances the cultural diversity of the area.

Wembley’s regeneration project, one of the largest in the country, is a challenging undertaking of not only accommodating new homes and jobs, but creating a distinctive neighbourhood attractive to live, work and spend time in. 

Art has become key component in public realm. Its significant role does not lie only within the aesthetic; it enhances a sense of place, creates unique narrative and encourages people to visit, work and socialise.

Both permanent and temporary projects are important in creating distinctive character of the built environment. They can be created with the engagement of local communities, reinforcing the cultural identity and the sense of their ownership of the place.

In response to the increasing number of developers commissioning public art as part of their projects, councils and institutions across the country have issued planning advice and guidelines on commissioning public art. One of the most recent guides has been published by the British Property Federation and the Contemporary Art Society.

The nature and power of public realm is immense.

It can create the environment of anticipation and suspense before customers enter your premises and entice people to stay longer than they might have.

At Revo, our community embraces retail placemaking in its entirety, so we are providing a technical paper developed by our Technical Affairs Committee, a blog on the legal implications of public realm by Kathryn Hampton of Hogan Lovells and we’d encourage you to post pictures of your favourite public realm using #PublicRealm!


Samantha Sen
Policy Advisor

Tags: Customer Experience, Development, Construction & Planning, Marketing & Consumer Trends, Sustainability & Community Engagement