Measuring the impact of placemaking
Niall Gaffney, Chief Executive
Wilton Park Impact Framework
The Wilton Park Impact Framework sets out our approach to measurement over the next five years. The methodology has been developed based on a detailed analysis of Wilton Park’s potential, drawing inspiration from global best practices and aligning with established technical methodologies where applicable.
What we aim to achieve in the long-term will be measured by how valuable, vibrant, and loved the neighbourhood is overall.
We will aim to draw more footfall through Wilton Park’s core and attract additional families and children throughout the week.
We will be integrating complementary commercial destinations to make the area more inviting and appealing to residents, workers, and visitors.
We will be creating initiatives that spark emotional connection so more people feel like they belong in Wilton Park and want to be part of its growing identity.
Creating inviting public spaces
The park is just one part of our significant plan for public realm improvements. The development will introduce new footpaths, street planting and better lighting. The social hub of our development will be a new neighbourhood square named after the distinguished Irish writer Mary Lavin who lived in nearby Lad Lane.
Celebrating art and culture
We are committed to transforming Wilton Park into a neighbourhood that supports and celebrates creativity. A place that gives artists the resources and opportunities they need to make and share work. In 2019, we launched Wilton Park Studios in collaboration with the RHA Gallery and since then 15 Irish artists have availed of free 6 – 12 months residencies.
Championing green values
Our next placemaking initiatives include doubling the seating capacity in the park and the area and supporting active commuting with bike parking and a drinking fountain. We anticipate that these facilities will encourage even more people to enjoy Wilton Park’s green amenities.
Creating a world-class commercial destination
The area around Wilton Park is a thriving commercial district. A large number of workplaces and businesses have located here because of its connectivity and accessibility. Nine out of 20 local businesses surveyed in July 2023, reported an increase in their overall turnover due to a rise in foot traffic to the park and One Wilton Park.
“IPUT have been great neighbours. They have been approachable and helpful in minimising the temporary pains that come with living next to a construction site. In the long term, I know it will be worth it.”
Audience Interviews, July 2023
“In the past, developments have put studio space in planning applications, but those studios never opened. IPUT have a different, more connected approach, which places greater emphasis on the relationship to the place in which they operate.”
Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts
“IPUT are extremely serious about their approach to landscape and long-term sustainability. At Wilton Park, we are taking an isolated, overgrown, locked-up site and turning it into an enjoyable and accessible green space for wildlife as well as for the community.”
Townshend Landscape Architects
“The IPUT team has been very supportive of me since the relationship began. By the time the park closed for renovations, our turnover had increased by 25-30% since we started in the kiosk. It’s a very good situation and we would like to stay for as long as we can.”
Why Not Coffee
What we do to achieve our objectives will be measured by the number and types of investments made in the public realm, programming, and governance of Wilton Park.
Six lessons from year one
1.Small gestures go a long way
Investing in small, thoughtful touches that improve people’s everyday quality of life can make a very big impact. Sometimes, all it takes to make a place more attractive is comfortable, movable seating and a coffee kiosk nearby.
2. It’s placemaking, it’s personal
Our personal approach has helped build trust and a good working relationship with our neighbours. It’s been the first step in creating a welcoming social space that brings people together.
3. Collaboration enhances impact
Our placemaking programme at Wilton Park has underpinned the importance of combining our strengths with the strengths of individuals and organisations across the community.
4. A 360° approach to impact investing is key
Our development at Wilton Park is teaching us the importance of not rushing in. Of taking a holistic approach that reaches beyond physical improvements to public spaces. Of supporting initiatives with programming and good governance structures across a variety of scales. Of involving all relevant stakeholders.
5. Making an effort is the first step to making an impact
Since starting construction in 2018, we have made a concerted effort to increase people’s enjoyment of Wilton Park with temporary art installations, public realm improvements, and community-oriented activities.
6. Flexibility builds resilience
Places, by their nature, are dynamic. They are constantly responding to changing circumstances determined by macro and micro trends and, occasionally, to global events.