Research Study: The Value and Impact of Placemaking

November 16, 2022


A new study by the Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University in collaboration with Lemay, MASSIVart, The Daniels Corporation and Entro examines the effects of art installations, cultural programming, interior design, wayfinding, place branding and architecture in public and private spaces.

A New Bottom Line: The Value & Impact of Placemaking found increases in personal connection, likeliness to spend time or shop, sense of safety and relaxation, emotional stimulation, and shareability of locations with placemaking interventions. These findings help us understand the immediate and enduring benefits of placemaking for retail, real estate, transit, and public spaces. The study showed the following results:

  • 50% increase in the intention to spend time in the built environment
  • 53% increase in positive perceptions of the location, resulting in environments that were seen as culturally vibrant, safe, friendly, and supporting an improved quality of life
  • 63% increase in positive feelings towards the locations, resulting in environments that were more inviting, beautiful, stimulating and comfortable
  • 77% increased likelihood for individuals to recommend the site to friends, family and acquaintances
  • 74% increased likelihood for individuals to share information about the location, which can translate to organic conversations that could create increased foot traffic and exposure through word-of-mouth or social media sharing

The study measured the responses of 598 participants to office spaces, outdoor courtyards, lobbies, and transit stations to measure the difference in responsiveness to locations with and without placemaking interventions.

In short, placemaking interventions can support outcomes such as increased traffic and sales, stronger connections and interactions, and improved community engagement and awareness. Such initiatives are not only great for captivating your communities, but the increased likelihood of these individuals to learn more, share their experience, and align their self-image with the enhanced spaces can create immediate and lasting effects for any industry.

Find out more about the study here: The Value and Impact of Placemaking.pdf