Market Insights

Making Places: Shaping Urban Nightscapes

Shaping Urban Nightscapes

In the 20th century, human beings saw a pace of urbanisation the likes of which have never been seen before. Today, half of the world’s population live in urban areas, with 1.5m people added to this figure every week (PWC, 2018).

This rapid pace of change is causing an irrevocable shift to the way we live. How we respond to the new urban landscape socially, spatially, commercially and digitally is increasingly important for a city’s population to lead fulfilled, happy and safe urban lives.

As urbanists, designers, planners, politicians, realtors, consumers and ‘cityzens’, we have a responsibility to ensure that our cities are future-proofed and remain dynamic and accessible organisms that feed our hearts, inspire our minds and help counteract the anonymity that rapid urbanisation can present.

On Thursday 7 June, we hosted the second in our ‘Making Places’ series, a curious investigation into how we make great places for people and with a mission to unlock a cross-industry dialogue that brings together the movers, shakers and curators who make the places we frequent every day.

This time, we talked about cities at night. In London alone, the night-time economy is worth £26.3bn each year and supports nearly one in eight of the city’s jobs. That’s roughly 700,000 people, or the population of Amsterdam. And this is just one city.

This is evident in the traditional night time economy and the things that have been its backbone for generations – pubs, clubs, bars and live music venues – all of which hold strong social and cultural significance.

However, as our urban lives become ever more intertwined, accelerated by growing digitisation, the boundaries of the environments where we live, work and play are increasingly blurred. It is only a matter of time before this spills over into the night time, which will become a realm for more than just socialising.

Our Making Places dinner and debate saw 40 people across design, planning, policy, real estate, retailers, hospitality and more come together to discuss how to build on this vibrant nightscape and begin to plan for a night time economy that is responsive to change. Guests included London’s Night Czar Amy Lamé, appointed by the Mayor of London two years ago to focus on making London a world-leading 24-hour city.

Building on what was a dynamic and insightful debate, we have published BNP Paribas Real Estate’s first Making Places zine: Shaping Urban Nightscapes, where you’ll hear from the following panel of experts:

  • Denizer Ibrahim, Director of Special Projects & Placemaking, BNP Paribas Real Estate
  • Shain Shapiro, CEO, Sound Diplomacy
  • Nick Robinson, Associate Director in Research & Placemaking, BNP Paribas Real Estate
  • Sukhdeep Dhillon, Senior Economist, BNP Paribas Real Estate
  • David Abrahamovitch, CEO & Co-founder, Grind
  • Olly Chubb, Head of Strategy & Insights, Portland Design
  • Michael Delfs, Project Manager of Canada Water Development, British Land
  • John McClarty, Head of Planning, Strutt & Parker

We hope that through this content you can join our discussion – please download the report below and leave any of your own thoughts in the box provided.

We also partnered with Estates Gazette to continue the discussion as part of their Property Podcast series, where Deputy Editor Samantha McClary sat down with Denizer Ibrahim, Amy Lamé, Michael Delfs and Steven Charlton, Managing Director of Perkins & Will. Listen to the podcast below.

To quote Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London: “Creative cities thrive at night”.

Denizer Ibrahim
Director of Special Projects and Placemaking
+44 (0) 207 338 4357