Developers and architects are leaving millions of dollars of real estate value on the table through unrealized potential in places they create. We see this every day; architects are so focused on architecture and program that they can’t see the forest for the trees.
We must learn to see the bigger picture; the hidden value lives outside the confines of the property, hiding within a community vision, the character and history of the neighborhood, the pace of public life, and the insights from the users. When we prioritize people in the design process, the result creates places where people truly want to be.
Capturing unrealized value is the hallmark of our design studio. Urban designers and place strategists are those who focus on the spaces in-between, prioritizing experience over a singular architectural gesture. First Forty Feet sees placemaking strategies as a value proposition by having reverence for history, celebrating culture, responding to community sentiment and city goals, and by knowing that it’s the people who make great places.
Our favorite manifesto directive is to 'enlist the people'. Many places that you remember and love are curated by people who are invested in building the community and take ownership of the place. Many of the elements we adore in the city come in the form of public art, creative tenant signage, window displays, or the ten items of personal flair. We must leave room for people to contribute in creative ways.