Quality of place is not just about consuming...It's the real, authentic experiences and the jagged edges between neighbourhoods that create the energy  that attracts the people who are today's economic drivers. 

Richard Florida, Monocle Magazine Contributor

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Place Partners is a specialist place making consultancy with an interdisciplinary approach to the creation and revitalisation of great people places. Read More >>

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A Crash Course in Place Making

“Chris, your internship will be at Place Partners.” Perfect! I just landed the coolest gig out of anyone in my class. Now… what is a place-making consultancy and what do they do?

Now that I have been working at Place Partners for over 9 months, it is very clear that nothing could have adequately prepared me for the challenges that I was to face in this job.

I have been working on projects all around Australia. This includes working with my former colleagues and staff at Macquarie University, to help improve its campus. I have flown to Broome to throw a big end of year party to help build a community in a new housing estate. I have learned from senior consultants, working in communities such as Wentworthville, Gympie, Hawks Nest and for corporate clients such as Optus on place making strategies, community engagement and marketing/branding strategies. Being thrown in a deep end, at a coal face, while being simultaneously baptised via fire - I don't think any cliché could cut it to describe how the experience has been for me - all while being completely on trend with the most innovative and creative approaches to community engagement and planning.

So what does a place-making consultancy do? Anything and everything that can be done to achieve the objective of making places better for people. There is a clear direction in trying to uncover what a place is and what it wants to be, which ultimately involves researching the relationship between a place and its people. While some may consider this value-add, I now consider it fundamental. While urban development has the capacity to divide communities, a place making strategy can restore the trust that is broken between people and decision makers as a result of shortsighted solutions to complex urban problems.

There’s never a dull moment at Place Partners. It is a pleasure to be working with some of the most driven and inspiring people that I’ve ever met. As every project is different, dealing with different people, different dynamics and different issues, I expect that 2015 will not get any easier, but I hope that it will be just as rewarding as this year has been. – Chris Patfield, Junior Place Maker