Place Management 2.0

The future?Its been another interesting week here at the IPM I’m glad to say.

In my pursuit to try and establish a forum for talking about all things Place Management, we have used the B2B relationship program LinkedIn to set up a private discussion area. Our members are taking to it like ducks to water, most notably a local town centre manager who was intrigued by the greenfield project known as the Cutting Room Experiment.

The Cutting Room Experiment was a testament to innovation by using some very modern techniques to do a very old fashioned job. They sought to use some of the ‘social media’ tools available to get people to come together to celebrate the opening of a new town square. A commendable effort was made by all and credit should be given to Manchester City Council for the ‘cohones’ to fund such a left-field approach.

I am sure I am not alone in thinking that there is an opportunity for combining the world’s new obsession with ‘online communities’ to the idea of the communities we physically inhabit?

Through urban regeneration we try to reclaim the endemic industrial red bricks of the North West into our new builds. This appreciation for the past in our residences and workplaces is quite evident in some of the new developments such as the ones by Urban Splash.

It turns out that the square celebrated by the Cutting Room experiment was previously a central part of a bustling industrial hub and was even cited by Engels in his works. So, where there is already a bridge from the old to the new in a physical dimension, technology in its modern state has acted as a medium to this transformation.

I also read with interest this week a statistic that has put ‘flash mobbing’ on the steady increase as multiple homage-de-Michael-Jackson take place across the globe. Through Facebook, Twitter et al, these group activities are being propagated, much like the Cuttingroom.

It will be interesting to see how the new social media and digital marketing tools get adopted and adapted by place managers.  They offer so much opportunity to not get people involved in events but also local decision making and recruitment into other activities that make our towns and cities better places to be.

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