Public Realm & Company Value - mødet med bymiljøet! Creation Investigating the local urban environment’s role in stimulating business
Danish version published in August 2012, 2nd Edition, April 2013 English version maj 2013 Written by Gehl Architects for Realdania By (Realdania City) - a Realdania company. The report is supported by Realdania. Realdania By Jarmers Plads 2 1551 KĂ¸benhavn V
Consultant: Gehl Architects - Urban Quality Consultants
Project Leader: Louise Vogel Kielgast Camilla Richter-Friis van Deurs
Senior Consultant: Per Riisom
Project Team: Ewa Westermark Simon Goddard
Translation: Anne Mette GrĂ¸ndahl Kasey Kimes
External Consultant: Mikael Lindholm, Innovation Inside
The company in the public realmâ€“the first impression on arrival
10 Value creation: the interaction between the employees, the company and the public realm 18 Questions for the importance of the public realm for companies 32
Means & Examples: Ideas for stimulating the public realm
48 Case: NorrkĂśping 57
A general overlook
58 Appendix 61
The company in the public realmâ€“the first impression on arrival Often, it takes only a few seconds to get a first impression of a person. The same applies when entering a building. Is it dark or light? Do we feel welcome? Is there life and activity or does it seem abandoned? There is also the physical structure of the company; to what kind of setting do we arrive? Is it a company in contact with the surrounding public realm in regards to its physical appearance or is it without connection to its surroundings? Furthermore, is it surrounded by a sterile parking lot without trees, shadow or shelter which does not invite for an informal talk or a final reading of meeting papers on a bench? The company may not have lost anything measureable in the first encounter with the customer or business partner, but it has missed out on advantages of sympathy, energy, and active connections.
However, if it is a company opening up towards and interacting with its surroundings, the first impression may be much more positive. This provides a much greater potential for discovering the company. It is present physicallyâ€“right there in the public realm and contributing to a public realm where other companies or institutions may be situated to benefit from each other. If the surroundings are not dreary parking lots but a stimulating public realm, the company may use the public space in connection with meetings with customers and walks & talks, for example. In cafĂŠs and parks, connections may be established with employees of other companies which may result in only casual connections, but which may also provide insight and information. In some cases, it may even result in potential business opportunities. The arrival at the company may give a good first impression and may result in a longer and more in-depth connection between the city, the company, and the companyâ€™s customers, business partners, and employees; a place to which people want to return.
THE CUSTOMER KNOWLEDGE GROWTH
The aim of this report is to create awareness
connections, and universities, etc. and ‘the small
and debate on how the public realm may
infrastructure’ of the internal physical arrange-
stimulate the value creation of companies.
ment of the company (such as the space of the office, etc.).
The subject of the report Here, the public realm means the physical surroundings within a walking distance of 5-10
The report asks more questions than it draws conclusions. It must therefore be seen more as a
minutes from the company.
beginning to the disclosure of the subject than
The stimulation of value creation may derive
report to prove how the public realm and the
from better conditions for cost-reducing common facilities, surroundings that stimulate ideas and knowledge sharing as assets in connection with the recruitment of qualified employees, and branding in connection with customers and
an ending. It is also beyond the ambition of the value creation of the companies are connected financially (profit, equity and market value). The report is among other things based on literature studies, a workshop with different
capacities within the field and the work in Nordic
Here, companies refer mainly to knowledge-
sized Nordic cities.
based companies. To a greater extent, these
City Network which is a network of 14 medium-
companies are located in those cities which
The structure of the report
lost many industrial companies and jobs from
The report is based on the three fundamental
the 1970’s and onwards. The knowledge-based
factors: the employee, the company and
companies are typically engaged in strategy,
the public realm. The report discusses nine
consultancy, design, communication, etc. The
questions and 14 principles which aim at
knowledge-based companies may have an
illustrating how the physical environment can be
industrial aim, but the industrial production
designed in order to contribute positively to the
itself, the transport, etc. most often takes place
value creation of the companies.
outside the cities. Often, however, the functions within strategy, finance, human resources, marketing and sale may well be placed in a more central public realm. The report focuses on the public realm, an area not fully documented. The public realm may be described as a missing link between ‘the large infrastructure’ of airports, freeways, train
The target groups of the report The report addresses municipalities wishing to stimulate business development, companies considering a new location in a stimulating public realm, and property developers aware that customers are interested not only in the address itself but also in the surrounding public realm which is increasingly an important factor.
In the knowledge-based society, it is very much
A company may profitably enter into relations
the ability of the employee to create new ideas,
with the public realm outside the physical
products, and procedures which creates growth.
framework of the company or with the space
The possibility of employee contribution to
connected to the lobby or ground floor premise
the value creation of the companies is heavily
of the company. The local space may be used as a
dependent on the physical arrangement, the
resource for the development and value creation
organization, strategy and technology of the
of the company through increased relations
company. These factors are illustrated in several
with customers and by drawing attention to the
books, articles, etc. This report is based on the
company in the local surroundings.
question of whether the possibility of employee contribution to value creation also depends on
The report raises the question of whether the
the public realm–the physical space between
interaction between the company and the public
companies, housing, shops, etc. within 5-10
realm can be strengthened by:
minutes walking distance from the company.
drawing the attention of the public towards the activities of the company by creating
Perhaps the contribution of employees to the
transparent and communicative ground floor
value creation of the company could be increased
frontages with publicly accessible lobbies,
by a public realm which offers a physical
showrooms exhibiting products, etc.
structure to: •
support the creation of networks, such
integrating other functions in the buildings
as common areas and offices shared with
which attract new users–a so-called double
other companies, professional networks, or
programming–such as the location of a café
persons within related fields.
in a consultancy company.
challenge and invite employees to involve
creating the possibility of a shared location
other areas for knowledge exchange in the
with other employees or companies by
work such as libraries, public space, or other
shared offices or dining halls.
inspiring places outside the company. • •
establishing outside areas and public spaces
stimulate new thoughts and provide energy
which attract user groups other than the
by virtue of a diverse physical structure.
employees to use these as parks, squares, and sport fields.
attract and retain talented employees.
Public realm EMPLOYEE
9 PUBLIC REALM
A stimulating public realm may provide the framework for meetings between people where contacts are made, information is exchanged, and ideas are materialized. In the public realm, people and the employees of companies may gain access to new knowledge and inspiration. This knowledge can be transformed into new products, processes, and customers, thereby increasing economic growth. Public realms may include parks and squares but also publicly accessible indoor ‘hybrid public realms’ such as hotel lobbies, libraries, train stations, and cafés. It must be emphasized that a stimulating public realm also includes pavement and bicycle lanes, since pedestrians and cyclists also contribute to an energetic atmosphere. The report raises the question of whether the public realm can support the value creation of companies by: •
establishing hybrid public realms which combine company types and activities with the public realm in a non-traditional way
exposing and brand the company in the public space through architecture or communication.
mixing occupation, housing and cultural institutions to create a lively and vibrant public realm.
Value creation: the interaction between the employees, the company and the public realm The purpose of the report In Denmark we have a strong tradition of evaluating how the physical appearance of public realms may stimulate ‘the good life’. Our investments in the architectural quality of buildings, squares, parks, and bicycle lanes, etc. can definitely be compared to international standards. Due to globalization, extended plans have been developed in connection to the relationship between urban development and business development. The expansion of infrastructure, universities, and completely new areas of the city, etc. must be mentioned in this connection. However, in Denmark and internationally, the extent to which the value creation of companies can be stimulated by the adjacent physical public realm is far from fully documented. This report attempts to deal with this only partially documented area. The report recognizes the many complex driving forces behind the location strategies of both private and public companies. Among other things, these driving forces may be infrastructure, labor market in the surrounding area, internal organization, branding, networking, business economics, and proximity to customers and strategic business partners. This report discusses how the quality of the public realm may also be of considerable importance to the value creation of companies and–in a broader perspective–to the business development of cities.
Public realm & value creation– a missing link? Cities have historically been the primary driving force behind value creation. However, in Denmark as well as internationally, many cities experienced problems beginning around the 1970’s. Many companies were relocated, cities lost jobs, the tax base disintegrated, and the demand for public resources grew as demographics shifted. Indebted and run-down, many cities were predicted to face a gloomy future. But a decade into the 21st century, it looks as though the cities will be making or can make a come back as the driving force in a knowledge-based economy. To companies, cities mean proximity to the knowledge that business partners, consultants, educational institutions, and research institutions possess. Cities offer the possibility to disseminate knowledge fast, which may be transformed into new products and new processes. Furthermore, cities offer solutions for transport and supporting facilities such as differentiated housing, services, and cultural experiences. It is common knowledge that large infrastructure and the presence of universities may stimulate economic growth. By now, much existing literature describes how the physical arrangement of the individual company may support value creation.
Between these two extremes, from the plan of
casual connections is not only still important but
the premises to the large infrastructure–a still
is of growing importance in a knowledge-based
only sparsely described field–exists in the public
economy. Companies will pay an increasing
realm. This publication seeks to contribute to a
sum in rent to be located where other leading
companies and talented employees are located. In addition to the common theory of growth as a
The report must also be understood with
consequence of the creation of company clusters,
the background that for decades–not only
which emphasizes the importance of a shared
in Denmark but also in many other highly
location of companies within the same industry,
developed countries–many business parks were
it turns out that value creation also occurs
located outside or on the outskirts of cities. Many
within the fault lines between different lines of
business parks have been productive platforms
in creating new patents, companies and jobs. There is an increase in what is called ‘urban In recent years, there has been an increased
companies’ referring to companies located
interest in whether value creation can be
in an urban context. The increasing interest
stimulated further if companies are located
of the companies to the city is an important
instead in the center of cities. The Innovation
driving force of the focus on interaction between
District in Boston can be mentioned as an
companies and the public realm.
example. This movement towards the city center is among other things due to the fact that many
Today, cities represent the most important
companies–or company departments–at the top
growth factor for economic development. It is
of the value chain no longer have an impact on
estimated that 80% of the European Union’s
their surroundings from a polluting production
GDP will be created in cities by 2030. Cities also
contribute to our mutual basis for living, not only by generating economic activity within the
It is also important to understand that in spite of
city boundary, but also by functioning to a great
the advantages of the internet and other modern
extent as the driver for economic development
means of communication the importance
in the rest of the country. See for instance the
of distance has not been eliminated. Since
dissertation by Høgni Hansen, The Urban Turn
knowledge sharing also requires confidentiality,
sympathy, and exchange of ideas, face-to-face communication in the form of formal meetings or
THE IMMEDIATE PUBLIC REALM
CITY & REGION
13 Public space is also important as an incubator
Some of the factors may be of particular
for the lifestyles of the international knowledge-
significance for the public realm’s support of
based society according to the theories of
company value creation. Several of these factors
Professor at the University of Toronto Richard
may be strengthened, not only through the
Florida about the need for transparency and
city as the overall framework, but also through
tolerance in the cities in order to attract the
the more immediate public realm such as the
creative class, presented in The Rise of the
interaction between buildings, public space,
Creative Class (2002).
urban functions, etc.
In general, there is a limited understanding of
Consequently, there is good reason to consider
the relationship between the value creation of
the public realm an overlooked scale, ‘a missing
companies and how companies relate to the
link’, between the interior of the company and
city. However, interest is increasing. Harvard-
the overall framework of the city. If the public
professor Edward Glaeser is arguing in Triumph
realm has potential, it is important to identify
of the City (2012) that the location of companies
and fulfil it in order to make urban development
in efficient cities may strengthen the innovation
(as well as the development of public realms)
and productivity of the companies radically. The
contribute to business development.
challenge, however, is that the importance of cities is often taken for granted or only mentioned indirectly in regards to the infrastructural challenges of growth in society. Economic centers of competence such as the OECD are working with studies and consultancies where many different factors are important to the value creation of companies. In the study Growth Follow-Up: Micro-Policies for Growth and Productivity (2005) which compares the growth of 27 EU-countries, the OECD has pointed out four factors which are of importance to growth: •
knowledge building and knowledge transfer
application of IT
Urban rejuvenation through tech-company clustering in San Francisco The mid-Market neighborhood of San Francisco had a longstanding history of crime and vacancy. In 2011, San Francisco-based tech giant Twitter was met with the opportunity to relocate their headquarters to Silicon Valley as many other tech firms had done before. The city of San Francisco then decided to offer a payroll tax break to Twitter and their 800 employees to stay in the city¬ – so long as they chose a location within mid-Market. Twitter accepted this offer, but the decision was not purely financial. As co-founder Jack Dorsey explained, being in a distressed corner of the city allowed the company to open itself up “real problems” as opposed to hiding away in the “wonderland bubble” of Silicon Valley. The tax break agreement also included requirements for extensive community investment by Twitter. Knowing the positive effects of rubbing shoulders with peers, several other tech firms moved to mid-Market as well. Yammer, Dolby, and One Kings Lane (together totaling over a thousand employees) among others also moved to the area, some without tax incentive. Investors have since spent over $500 million in the neighborhood, thousands of residential units are being built or renovated, and public life is quickly reemerging.
Market Street, San Francisco, USA
Studies of the company´s relation to the city Within the framework of the Nordic City Network
during the past 15 years. In Malmö, the survey
facilitated by Gehl Architects, a number of
has also focused on a post-industrial area
interview surveys have been carried out in
situated in a previous port space. The area is
companies in four Nordic cities: Malmö and
now called Universitetsholmen and includes
Nörrköping in Sweden, Lilleström in Norway and
housing for Malmö Högskola (Malmö University).
Aalborg in Denmark. The purpose of the surveys
The area has not been fully developed but has
is to determine how companies use the city today
been transformed significantly during the past
and to what extent a connection exists between
15 years. It is situated 2 km (1,24 miles) from the
their needs and the location of the company in
center and is now connected to other parts of
the public realm.
the city with the new city metro tunnel and the station Malmö C.
The surveys include interviews with approximately 30 different companies. The
In Lilleström, the interview survey has not
interviews are carried out primarily in
focused on a single limited urban area to the
cooperation with a representative from the
same extent. Here, the whole city has been
management of the company. The companies
examined and interviews have been carried out
have been selected based on their location in
in companies located in the city center and in
a certain part of the city and with the purpose
Kjeller, a campus area with one of Norway’s most
of identifying differences among types of
important research centers situated only a few
companies. In Aalborg, the survey has its starting
kilometers outside the center. The city center of
point in the area around Budolfi Plads (Budolfi
Lilleström is particular because it has been built
Square) which is a historic site in the city center
and upgraded considerably over a period of 10-15
of Aalborg where some of the oldest buildings in
years. Due to this transformation the interviews
the city are situated. The area is situated in close
have not delved into the more specific needs
proximity to the business center of the city and is
of location and relations to the city which the
facing redevelopment in future years.
companies have. Instead, the survey focuses on the more general qualities of the city and their
In Nörrköping, the survey starting point is in a
importance to business development.
previous industrial area–Industrilandskapet (the Industrial Landscape)–which has gone
The results of the interview surveys are
through a remarkable urban transformation
summarized in the table in the appendix, pages 58-59.
Many companies in the area of Dockan in Malmรถ have open lobbies and reception desks allowing the public to use dining hall facilities and the like.
BYRUM ANDRE VIRKSOMHEDER BYLIV
Questions concerning the importance of the public realm to companies In this chapter, we will be discussing different questions concerning the possible importance of the public realm to the companies and their value creation.
National Australia Bank Docklands, Melbourne, Australia
This chapter presents nine questions concerning the importance of the public realm to companies. Each question contains a short description as well as references to specific urban areas or companies where questions regarding the field of study are expressed. The questions are based partly on literature studies andMENNESKET
partly on interview surveys in four Nordic cities: Malmรถ, Norrkรถping, Lillestrรถm and Aalborg. The interview surveys are carried out during the winter 2011-12 within the framework of Nordic City Network. The questions concern whether and how the public realm can support networking, knowledge sharing and cost-cutting shared facilities, but also refer to how companies look upon their relation to the surrounding public realm more generally. MENNESKET
Questions 1. Can the public realm stimulate employees? 2. Can the public realm create good opportunities to establish collaborative relationships? 3. Can attractive public realms attract talented employees? PUBLIC SPACE URBAN LIFE PUBLIC SPACE
4. Can the public realm be an asset to customer relations? OTHER 5. Can location in theCOMPANIES public real contribute to a positive image for the company? 6. Can the public realm contribute to the economics of companies?
7. Can the public realm provide for an extended network? 8. Can the creation of meeting places in the public realm strengthen both companies and urban life? 9. Can a stimulating public realm represent a financial gain for companies e.g. the taxable value of the property?
Can the public realm benefit employees?
Example: a hotel lobby in New York City
The public realm has great potential as a space
When looking at cities today, we see numerous
to stimulate the generation of ideas, networking,
examples of people expanding their working
and knowledge sharing. Today, many companies
space beyond just a room in an office building.
profit from new ideas conceived by their employ-
Many cafés have regular working customers sit-
ees which may be transformed into value crea-
ting with their laptops for several hours, in parks
tion for the company. Furthermore, it is possible
where WI-FI is used frequently (e.g. Bryant Park
that a stimulating public realm may contribute to
in NYC) and even hotel lobbies represent new
increased employee satisfaction, which in itself
interesting and free working spaces in the city.
may contribute to innovation and productivity.
One example is a lobby of a hotel in New York City
This will also make it easier to retain and attract
that is shared with an independent coffeeshop,
qualified employees. After the interview survey
in a large and flexible room open to hotel guests
was carried out within the framework of Nordic
and the general public. It simultaneously attracts
City Network, several participating managing
people from the street who choose to hold work-
directors estimated that their employees are
ing meetings there due to the special atmosphere
also inspired outside the company. The public
of activity and energy. These types of hybrid
realm outside the company may in several cases
rooms and public realms offer possibilities to
spur a break with habitual thinking due to the
expand the working space outside the company.
possibility of new stimuli in the form of people, surroundings and communication. The impressions from these stimulating surroundings vary from employee to employee–it may be a park, a street where it is possible to meet different people, architecture which challenges relations and encourages people to stay and interact, a café in which other guests are also working, etc. The employees also have the need to stay in places which encourage absorption and peace in the public realm, where there is space to think and work in an inspiring environment. There is the need for both active and passive public realms. This need can also be accommodated in work environments or businesses that might demand certain confidentially zones within the workspaces.
A hotel lobby in New York is open at all hours for visitors though they are not guests in the hotel. Many use the setting as meeting facilities or as a base for networking with smaller companies.
Can the public realm create good opportunities to establish collaborative relationships?
Example: The Upper Secondary School in Norrkรถping
The opportunity to establish collaborative
secondary school is also a company itself and not
relationships is widely recognized as an important location parameter for companies today, but it is often dealt with at a superior level and reduced to a question of cooperation between parties in the same industry. Publications such as Knowledge Cities. Approaches, Experiences and Perspectives., The European Creative Class and Regional Development and Institutional competitiveness in the global economy emphasize regional specialization and industrial cluster development as central factors in the creation of growth and employment. Other literature points out that much innovation also takes place in the fault lines between different lines of business. There is less focus on how collaborative relationships work in practice between neighboring companies. Mikael Lindholm, an innovation consultant at Innovation Inside, emphasizes that most companies do not fully exploit the potential in industrial cluster developments. It is difficult to create collaboration between companies as well as between companies and other types of players. There is a strong need for stimulating mechanisms and a physical environment which encourages networking. Among several of the companies where interviews were carried out, there is a belief that sharing the same public realm and being visible in the public realm will create better possibilities for partnership.
An upper secondary school prepares young people for company employment. However, the upper just a parenthesis in the surrounding environment. An example of the need for visibility is the Upper Secondary School in Norrkรถping which relocated to In-dustrilandskapet, a knowledge campus in Norrkรถping, in 2010. Previously, the Upper Secondary School was located in an old hospital a few hundred metres from Industrilandskapet, but even this short distance was an obstacle for collaborative agreements with relevant traineeships for their students. By relocating near other educational establishments such as the university, the Upper Secondary School hopes to create visibility and interest concerning their own educational establishment as a potential resource for other institutions. Simultaneously, they are aware that they must work to obtain this position. The Upper Secondary School encourages cooperation by keeping their building accessible throughout the day and offering activities to attract other persons, thereby obtaining new relationships through the public realm.
Can attractive public realms attract talented employees? By locating in active and interesting urban areas, many companies strengthen their potential to attract the employees necessary for their company. Many employees want to be part of a public realm offering pulse, intensity, urban life and interesting urban functions. Such a public realm offers the best possibilities for networking and career development. It is also easier to combine work with other purposes, such as recreation, housing, shopping, etc. This integration is found to be increasingly important due to new modes of work in which the transition between work and recreation is more fluid. Moreover, synergy occurs when different people meet in the public realm–even in meetings which may be passive. Inspiration and impulses are also obtained by experiencing others in a space without any real
Example: Progressive Media in Aalborg Progressive Media in Aalborg has–among other things–produced the educational computer game Pixeline for schoolchildren. This is an example of a company in which the quality of the chosen location is of huge importance to the employees. The company initially chose to locate in a newly established business area outside the city dominated by computer services companies, but soon realized that their employees wanted to work in the center of the city. This is due to the employees of Progressive Media feeling that they have a certain kind of identity when working in the city and thus being part of the city life. Most of the employees live in the city–‘our employees are city dwellers’–and this new location in the city center of Aalborg offers an opportunity to carry out other daily activities in connection to the working day and to spend less time on commuting.
direct contact. By entering the public realm, companies are creating an attractive workplace. Location may be part of the strategies of management in concern for employee care where a connection between the professional and private life of the employee is an important factor. In this perspective, the kind of urban area as an ideal location may vary from traditional city center areas to new parts of the city where new kinds of city centers are forming.
The employees of Progressive Media use the public space as a source of inspiration when they move the office into the street in order to be in direct contact with customers and impulses in the street. Here, the Progressive Media team is on Gammeltorv square in Aalborg.
Can the public realm be an asset to customer relations? Some lines of business recognized long ago that certain public realms provide necessary access to potential customers. This applies especially in retail, where theories and parameters for the best location have been developed in order to attract customers. That the public realm is an important setting in which to meet customers is now also a fact of which companies within other lines of business are aware. This development is clear in the interview surveys within the framework of Nordic City Network. Many companies are focusing on visibility and location in an urban area with urban life where they are able to meet their customers. Contact with customers is not only of direct economic importanceâ€“several companies find that with better customer relations they are able to develop and ensure a constant product development because the contact with customers provides a sort of â€˜reality checkâ€™. Consequently, it is important to create a framework for more informal or personal meetings with customers and for this purpose the public realm remains an important setting.
Examples: Danske Bank in Aalborg and Great Communications in Copenhagen Attention to the establishment of good customer relations is manifested by some companies in a complex location strategy in which different customers with different needs are identified.
This may have an effect on companies and spur them choose locations in different parts of the city. Danske Bank in Aalborg is an example hereof. The company has good accessibility to the regional customers of the bank with a location outside the city center and close to the motorway, while simultaneously maintaining a location in the city center where they can meet the daily chance customers. The same thinking applies to a communications company in Copenhagen, Great Communications, which has located both in scenic surroundings north of Copenhagen and within Copenhagen where it is possible to take customers to lunch, etc. Here, the economy plays an important part in connection with the strategy. The prices per square metre in the center are more expensive than in suburban areas, but it is considered important to be located in the city despite higher expenses. Another advertising company in Copenhagen, Reputation, is actively using their location in the public realm as a forum of communication for the company. Here, it is an exhibition which is meant to create attention to the earthquake in Japan in 2011 in connection with a fundraising campaign. (Photo: www.comicparty.dk)
Can location in the public realm contribute to a positive image for the company? Image and branding represent important conditions for many companies in order to achieve optimal effectiveness. Branding is a prerequisite to entering a desired market and for establishing the right collaborative relationships and developing a customer base. Part of a company´s branding is related to the location of the company in a certain public realm. Companies want to be associated with certain values and qualities which may potentially be obtained by locating in and becoming part of a specific public realm. For instance, they may wish to signal that they are of a contemporary ethos and thus locate in an urban development area which observes and attracts modern trends. In the area Nordvest (north-west) in Copenhagen, low rents have attracted a diverse range of creative industries which are attracted by a growing public realm with strong branding values. For the companies, it has resulted in a ‘local pride’ of having been part of changing an area which
Companies understand that they can play an active role in the public realm and contribute to urban life on the same level as other more conventional urban functions as cultural life, social activities and retail. They recognize that the public realm’s buildings, urban spaces and urban functions represent what may be called urban resources which potentially possess an economic value.
Example: SEB Bank in Copenhagen SEB on Kalvebod Brygge in Copenhagen is an example of a company which has used the public realm strategically as a location factor. The builtup area has generated an unusually high amount of media attention and thus created an increased interest in the SEB-brand. The headquarters of SEB Bank is situated on Kalvebod Brygge in Copenhagen. The landscape covers the parking and technical facilities of the built-up area giving pedestrians and cyclists access to the green park.
suffered for many years from a bad reputation. The interaction between the company and the public realm is not unidirectional, in which only the companies benefit in creating value for their company. Today, companies want to contribute to the public realm which they are a part of, and to achieve a relationship beneficial both to themselves and to others in the area. These companies are conscious of their particular responsibility to contribute to the public realm by providing a meeting place for different players.
SEB on Kalvebod Brygge in Copenhagen is an example of a company which has used the public realm strategically as a location factor. The built-up area has generated more than 500 mentions in the media and thus created an increased interest in the SEB-brand.
27 The company’s location strategy aimed to be as prominent and visible as possible in order to gain traction in the Danish banking market. Consequently, they chose (also in the interest of commuting employees) a site near the central station and the motorway while being close to the waterfront in order to benefit from its recreational possibilities. The manager of SEB Ejendomme (SEB Properties), Peter Mering, says: “In a situation with lack of labor it is important to be located in the city close to public transport, and that the headquarters will hold 220 parking spaces. There is a bus stop just outside the building and it only takes 10 minutes to get to the airport by taxi. Everything contributes to attract and retain a highly qualified staff” (Erhvervsbladet, 13 February 2008). The company finds that their existing building stock and brand have increased in value by this visibility and by the character and qualities of the public realm: “Furthermore, the building has become well-known due to a lot of activity going on around it which has nothing to do with SEB but it is still known as ‘The SEB Building’. Moreover, the tangible value creation has taken place due to the fact that it is possible to get into a taxi in Copenhagen Airport and ask to be driven to SEB Copenhagen without mentioning a more exact address and this is of more value than money can buy”, explains Peter Mering (Bygherreforeningen (the Danish Association of Construction Clients, DACC), 18 January 2012). On Universitetsholmen in Southern Sweden, the business incubator MINC has an open dining hall which acts as a magnet in the area. It brings together many different people who work in the area, such as those from the nearby Malmö Högskola (Malmö University). The dining hall contributes to create curiosity towards the different companies in MINC just as these companies can potentially establish important relations with the university, other institutions, and companies.
Can the public realm contribute to the economics of companies? The public realm can create value for companies not only by increasing the taxable value of their properties, but also by improving conditions for shared services with other companies which reduce operating costs such as that of energy, refuse disposal, office facilities, dining halls, and maintenance. There are numerous examples of this phenomenon in many different cities and often urban areas are branded as creative niches in the city which many companies want to buy into. Especially for smaller or newly established companies, a shared location may offer less expensive facilities, telephone service, dining hall, meeting facilities, etc. For more established companies, common facilities may meet temporary needs for more room or other facilities due to an expansion or a limited project to optimize the expenditures of the company. Many larger companies have a dining hall; this facility is an obvious open place to potentially use for meetings - not only for the employees of the company but also for the public. A dining hall may be open in the evening and thus contribute in giving back to the city by creating an active public realm at different hours of day and night.
Public realm COMPANY
Can the public realm provide for an extended network? Much literature focuses on the importance of education and research in developing and attracting knowledge-based companies. Among the literature mentioned Francisco Carillos’ Knowledge Cities. Approaches, Experiences and Perspectives (2005). Companies are increasingly dependent on knowledge and input from outside and cannot function independently of other companies and institutions. By being located in certain public realms, companies gain more immediate access to the knowledge they need. However, knowledge is not only a resource which can be obtained but also shared. According to Francisco Carillo, the public realm is like an ‘urban innovation generator’ which can sup-
Example: Silicon Roundabout in London During the past 10 years, a transformation has been carried out in the area around Old Street/ Shoreditch in Eastern London. The area is now called Silicon Roundabout/Tech City and exemplifies an industrial cluster development of computer and technology companies which cannot be described as a campus. In contrast to many other tech clusters, there are no direct links to the local universities here. Instead, a strong culture of knowledge sharing has been created - a space for self-training - which is based upon mutual support between the parties’ activity in the area. A significant driver of the area is an old transformed tea factory which offers flexible cheap office space, studios, a member organisation, restaurants and other mixed functions.
port knowledge sharing and innovation. A close integration between the traditional campuses, research areas, and business areas of the city is required. Examples of urban innovation generators are libraries, town halls, schools, museums, and other institutions which support meetings between employees and companies and which work as catalytic environments for knowledge sharing. Knowledge is thus much more than just research and institutions of higher education, which makes the challenge of creating public realms for knowledge sharing just as relevant in smaller provincial towns which may not offer a university or the like.
This map illustrates a number of technology companies located at Silicon Roundabout. Some of these companies are one-man businesses while others are departments of large established companies from Silicon Valley in California which choose this cluster as their European base. Map: Tech City
Can the creation of meeting places in the public realm strengthen both companies and urban life? Cities have traditionally been characterized by a strict division between public and private space, defined by property rights. This division has resulted in the perception of company headquarters belonging to a different sphere than the surrounding public space. This is now changing. Slowly, a shift of traditional property lines, new hybrid spaces, and meeting places is occurring. As this happens, the public space may profit much more from the life in adjacent buildings and companies may be inspired by the life of the public realm in return. These hybrid spaces are developed not the least by companies which see obvious advantages in opening themselves towards the outside world.
Example: Unilever, HafenCity Hamburg, Germany In Hamburgâ€™s HafenCity, the company Unilever has established new headquarters which is an example of this tendency towards the creation of hybrid spaces. The whole ground floor is open and accessible to the public, created as an integrated part of the public space surrounding the building. The headquarters are strategically situated on the new waterfront and serve as a natural link between the city and the water.
The lobby of Unilever is used for public purposes, on this occasion a charity tennis match. Photo: Mark Max Henckel.
Can a stimulating public realm represent a financial gain for companies e.g. the taxable value of the property?
resist further investments in the quality of their
Whether investments in an attractive public
whether the roads instead must be prioritized to
realm may also result in an increase in value of company properties is a complex question. Among other things, this complexity derives from so-called externalities. When it appears from a caseâ€“such as around the Aarhus River (in Aarhus, Denmarkâ€™s second largest city), where the urban environment was significantly improved and property value increased over 100% in two yearsâ€“that the taxable value of the properties is increasing, it is rarely due to investments in the quality of the public space alone. Other factors include the general development of the property market, whether better parking conditions and better public transport are created in connection with the public realm, and that the local school provides better teaching for a number of years.
surrounding public realm while disregarding classic dilemmas such as whether customers have access to transportation to the address or be used by pedestrians and cyclists.
Example: Bryant Park in New York City The area surrounding Bryant Park in New York City is an example of how the development of an attractive and innovative public realm can bring people together in new ways. An active public space strategy has resulted not only in an increase in property values but also a considerable change in the industrial structure of the area. The area is now attracting an increasing number of creative and innovative companies which traditionally chose to be located in the Meatpacking District and similar urban areas according to the Bryant Park Association.
Such factors may be difficult to consider individually. More precise surveys depend on comprehensive sets of data beyond individual cases. Whether there are externalities or not, it may often be determined that urban areas with increasing taxable value of properties also are urban areas with relatively big investments in the public realm. While substantial surveys remain to be worked out, most experts in property markets will confirm that location is vital, and that companies will pay considerably for location. It is also rarely observed that companies
Bryant Park in Manhattan is a green breathing space which creates great value to the surrounding companies.
From questions to practice The nine questions introduced have been
In a national economic perspective, it is to a great
formulated as general areas of focus but they are
extent the small and medium-sized companies
particularly relevant to certain lines of business
which will represent growth in Denmark in
and types of companies.
the years ahead. Consequently, it is extremely relevant to understand and support special
Relevant corporate groups
needs in relation to the quality of the public
The interview surveys carried out indicate that
realm. However, this does not rule out that in
the greatest awareness of the public realmâ€™s
larger companies a part of the organization, such
importance exists among companies working
as a finance or marketing department, would
in ideation, consultancy, culture, IT, media,
profit from a location in a stimulating public
learning, and experiences. In practice, it is these
realm. The following pages of the report present
kind of companies that benefit most from an
a number of proposals on superior topics which
urban location. Contrary to occupations such as
could be elaborated upon. In the descriptions
agriculture, retail trade, etc. these knowledge-
of the topics, a number of specific ideas and
based companies are not normally situated
examples are included.
locally. They are globally oriented and depend instead on different types of qualifications which
Relevant type of urban areas
may be found several places. They are dependent
The public realm may appear differently
depending on the kind of urban area in question. The surveys carried out so far indicate that
In the category of knowledge-based companies,
knowledge-based companies which are most
the tendency is strongest among small
interested in making use of the public realm
companies (under 50 employees) which is
typically choose to locate in the following kinds
partially due to the fact that their limited size
of urban areas: interior urban areas (city centers),
allows for a location in an urban context.
former industrial and harbor areas, and new types of industrial cluster areas. In other words,
Many larger companies will have the same
the tendency towards new kinds of interaction
needs of knowledge sharing, networking, etc. in
between company and public realm are strongest
relation to their value creation, but they may face
in these kinds of urban areas. Consequently,
challenges finding premises of the right size in a
these urban areas also represent an obvious
dense urban context.
opportunity to experiment with and develop some of the principles and ideas presented.
Means & examples
Ideas for stimulating the public realm This chapter introduces 14 proposals of means for the connection between the public realm and the company, illustrated by specific examples of possible solutions.
A space for a break in the busy financial area of Finsbury Avenue Square, London, where employees can meet without obligation at some plain pieces of public space furniture. The square is also used for exercise and events, especially in the evening, when an advanced LED-system lights up the space and makes it useful after closing hours. (Photo: Broadgate Estates)
This chapter presents a number of specific proposed means to illustrate how the public realm may support the value creation of companies. The description of these means is based on knowledge of the company needs which has been generated through previous conducted interview surveys as well as literature studies concerning the topic.
The chapter is structured in the same manner as the previous chapter based on three factors: the employee, the company and the public realm. Within each of these factors, means are presented along with a number of specific ideas and examples of how these means can be used in practice. When selecting the means, ideas, and examples, it has been important to emphasize innovative initiatives related to urban
EMPLOYEE MENNESKET development and the practice of planning regulations as
we know them today. The means have been expressed in an imperative way as requests. Again, they should rather be read as proposals for further work rather than determined principles.
Means 1.1 Strengthen the employee network 1.2 Make the innovation space of the employee visible 2.1 Make the public realm a part of company strategy PUBLIC SPACE 2.2 Strengthen symbiosis with company surroundings
2.3 Move theURBAN company out into the public space KNOWLEDGE
2.4 Structure the company as a city
COMPANIES 2.5 Open up the company URBAN LIFE
2.6 Offer common facilities and shared location 2.7 Make space for knowledge sharing
3.1 Mix functions in the public realm 3.2 Mix housing and business for entrepreneurs KNOWLEDGE
3.3 Strengthen the input of knowledge PROFESSIONAL MEETINGS
3.4 Strengthen the flexibility of public meeting places 3.5 Create junctions as strategic public spaces for development and innovation
1 The Employee EMPLOYEE
A number of different factors
The knowledge and infor-
people–not only within the
are important in order to be
mation of employees is
physical limits of the company
able to perform optimally
generated during interaction
but also beyond them. The
when employed by a com-
with other players, therefore
aim is to support connections
pany. Overall, it is important
networking is increasingly
with small or large business
to focus on the employee as
important. In the following
potential and knowledge
employees represent the ‘raw
section, means are introduced
sharing between different
material’ of the company.
which focus on ‘employee
organizational functions and/or
networking’ and how to
geographical locations in the
strengthen the structure
and development of the professional relations between
From a focus on the organization to a focus on the employees
S FORR EN
Today, many companies may be referred to as
Make the innovation space of the employee visible
network organizations. Strategically, they have
In the knowledge-based company, work is
chosen not to possess all necessary assets within
typically organized more flexibly than in former
their own organization. Instead, processes
times of work in an office or at the assembly line.
and products are developed in interaction with
Flexible working hours, home workplaces, and
others. The networks of a company may be very
increased travel activity result in employees rais-
different–formal or informal, open or closed.
ing new demands of flexibility to the company.
A survey of these different networks–both in
More companies have realized this and allow
regards to the company and the individual em-
for a certain percentage of working hours to be
ployee–may be an important first step in order to
spent on activities outside the company. Google
activate and utilize the network in a better way.
is an example of a company which prioritizes the
A factor of networks which should be identified is
self-made innovation of employees. Here, the em-
where the different parties are located in the sur-
ployees must spend 20% of their working hours
rounding urban area. This will increase visibility
on ‘a personal project’. Thereby, the company
for all parties involved which might catalyze
allows personal innovation based on a strategy
possible cooperation in the immediate public
to benefit from the value this knowledge will
realm. Such a survey may also contribute to the
ultimately provide the company. The result of
establishment of mutual physical platforms
employees’ personal projects includes products
which could strengthen relations between the
like Gmail and Google News.
Strengthen the employee network
parties of the network.
Survey of the professional networks of an employee via LinkedIn. The individual color codes indicate the surface of contacts. (Source: Peter Nørregård, chief consultant of Rambøll Management Consulting via LinkedIn maps, www. version2.dk)
Googleplex in Mountain View, California. The company uses the public space as working space.
2 The company COMPANY
As described earlier, a clear
The mutually shared space
The fourth public space is the
development points in the
outside a company building
hybrid spaces which create
direction of more open
can increasingly be used as a
increased synergy and interac-
companies. This doesn’t mean
resource to the development
tion between companies and
that everything happening in
and value creation of the
the public. The aim is to gen-
the company is now acces-
company. This trend can be
erate development, innovation
sible to everybody, but many
summarized as the mean of
and general value creation
companies see the relevance
‘developing and strengthening
to the companies as they
of opening up towards the
the fourth public space’.
increasingly use other players
public. When this happens,
and facilities as resources for
traditional limits erode be-
development and growth.
tween the outdoor and indoor,
private and public.
The company may in some circumstances obtain impulses from the public realm and in potentially benefit from inviting the surroundings inside.
S FORR EN
Make the public realm a part of company strategy
Strengthen symbiosis with company surroundings
The importance of the public realm to the value
Many companies are ‘invisible’ in the streets
creation of companies is only recognized to a
since they are situated behind introverted and
limited extent among managing directors. As a
non-communicative frontages. They may be
part of their corporate strategy, Sveriges Televi-
situated physically in an urban context but they
sion (Swedish Television, see under Cases) has a
are not present in the public space. This may be
specific section concerning location and how the
difficult to change since not all companies can be
company may make use of their location to allow
situated on the ground floor with good visibility
for value creation. Such awareness may contrib-
and contact to the users. Closed and unwelcom-
ute to a new important negotiation space for the
ing office buildings do not contribute to living
employees of the company in order for them to
public realms. Instead, they create a feeling
experience development together with other
that only people with a specific purpose have
people in the surrounding public realm. Such a
‘permission’ to go about the public space. On the
corporate strategy should include considerations
other hand, open, interesting and transparent
of how to make the public realm a resource for
frontages–especially with mixed functions on
employees in their day-to-day work as part of
the ground floor–may contribute to invite people
new relations and new ideas.
other than employees of the company to the area.
The IT consultancy company Abakion, which is situated on Østerbro in Copenhagen, has a work policy which includes public spaces in the company strategy. In 2011, Abakion was chosen as the third best workplace in Denmark by the international organization Great Places to Work which compares companies in 46 countries.
In Southbank, a regenerated district along the Thames in London, cultural institutions from museums, to theaters and libraries are all open to the public and integrated with other commercial functions such as such as restaurants. The concentration of activities has attracted more and more office and residential development to the neighborhood that also open up shared meeting spaces for employees/residents to interact with the public.
Move the company into the public realm
Structure the company as a city
Many small entrepreneurial businesses are in-
In order to strengthen possibilities of employees
visible in the urban landscape and thus represent
to share knowledge and collaborate, many
an untapped resource due to their great potential
companies work with new physical arrange-
value to other companies and any potential
ments. In recent years, many theories have been
users of the company’s products or services. In
developed about the most suitable interior office
addition, it is a problem for the entrepreneurial
design. Here, inspiration may be found in the
businesses themselves due to their dependence
city’s organization of streets and squares. The
on inclusion in informal networks consisting of
important thing is that employees leave their
business partners and their need for easy access
usual working routine and meet in new ways to
to potential customers. Not all companies are
exchange ideas–which may happen both inside
suitable for a location on the ground floor close
and outside the company.
to a street and many smaller creative companies are located in backyard premises. Backyards could become a much bigger part of the public space network. The backyard may work as a meeting place - not only for the employees of the company but also as a meeting space between the employees of the company, neighbours, potential customers, business partners, as well as the chance passerby. Thus, such semi-private public spaces may contribute to diversity and interaction.
Being located on the fourth floor, Gehl Architects is not part of the urban landscape but has received permission to arrange a temporary meeting space in the backyard in the summer. The employees benefit from this meeting space and it contributes to create activity in a backyard otherwise dominated by parking. Moreover, the initiative provides the opportunity for increased interaction with the other companies which adjoin the backyard and other chance passerbys–including the customers of Estate Coffee.
The office of Snöhetta in Oslo is an example of a new way to arrange a company with inspiration from the city. In this case, it is the agora where the employees can meet and make presentations and debate different subjects. Photo: Marte Johansen.
41 Open up the company In line with many companies’ increasing use of
a visitors’ center which must act as a connection
the city’s facilities, such as cafés and restaurants,
between basic school, upper secondary school
a tendency towards increased company trans-
and university, and strengthen the interaction
parency is emerging. These tendencies can be
between these in order to make more young
further strengthened by open lobbies with the
people consider scientific studies. The center is
purpose of inviting the surrounding world inside,
meant to attract new potential users to the area
thereby bringing the public into the company
in order to brand ‘the company’.
buildings. Conversely, this may contribute to bringing exposure of the company’s professional
The brewery Carlsberg is a company which has
work into the public space. In this way, new inter-
used this strategy for several years. Its visitors
esting hybrid spaces are created where transi-
center had 150,000 visitors in 2011. In future
tions between the outside and inside and private
years, it will be expanded to a new Brand &
and public are blurred and ground is prepared
Experience Center. The idea of the open company
for interesting connections between professional
has subsequently been transferred to the new
space and public space.
urban area Our City (on the previous Carlsberg property in Valby, Copenhagen) which includes
Of course, some companies still need a certain
an information center with exhibitions about the
degree of secrecy in order to secure working
future urban area as well as a number of tempo-
procedures and keep business secrets. Of course,
rary public spaces to attract new users to the old
some companies still need a degree of confi-
dentiality, but this can be maintained without limiting the possibilities for public interaction in other areas of the company building or grounds. Another possibility of opening up the company is to establish experience centers, museums, or research centers in connection with the company in order to strengthen the knowledge of the brand, invite the public inside, and create new knowledge for the company. The future construction of office and laboratory buildings of the University of Copenhagen, called the Niels Bohr Science Park, will include
The creation of temporary urban areas on the Carlsberg property in Copenhagen is just one of the strategies which the company uses in order to create interaction with the surrounding city and to attract the public to the area of the company. Many smaller creative businesses have located in the area and use the temporary spaces for meetings etc.
Offer shared facilities and location Many companies and employees have a need to
In this way, the economic resources are used
meet the surrounding world and enter into both
more optimally by not leaving the premises
informal and formal networks where new prod-
empty. It creates potentially better economic
ucts can be developed and new partnerships can
conditions for the individual company and the
be established. Flexibility is a keyword to many
possibility of synergy between different kinds
present idea and knowledge-based companies.
of companies which may be situated next to
They must constantly adjust to new demands
one another but without real contact. It may be
and this means changing needs in relation to the
accomplished more traditionally by dividing
facilities that the company needs. This applies
the building into smaller units and renting out
especially for small start-up companies but also
facilities to different small companies in order
more established and larger companies. For this
for them to have the same location. At La Oficina
purpose, the shared office facilities may repre-
in Frederiksberg (Copenhagen), the employees of
sent an important element in an urban area.
the shared office facilities have the possibility of meeting other people and thus benefit from the opportunity to make new partnerships across companies and achieve an increased financial gain by shared location.
Information City in LillestrĂśm, Norway is an association of research centers, companies, and public authorities which have taken the initiative in establishing a number of common facilities in Kjeller, a research and business area a couple of kilometres outside the center of LillestrĂśm. It is especially necessary in this area which is situated outside the city center, but it also creates a feeling of community among the members of the organization.
La Oficina in Copenhagen is a shared working facility for private entrepreneurs and freelancers which combines the best from the shared office facilities, the cafĂŠ, and the members club.
43 Create space for knowledge sharing Beyond the establishment of shared premises, it
Knowledge sharing is frequently celebrated
is natural–not least in industrial cluster areas–to
but how can it be supported and stimulated to a
establish common facilities such as meeting
greater extent? Every individual company will
and conference facilities across companies.
have their own answer to this question.
The establishment of these facilities may meet completely basic needs among the employees of a
An important aspect of knowledge sharing is the
company in relation to accessibility and proxim-
creation of possibilities for knowledge sharing
ity to daily facilities, thereby making it easier to
across company limits. This may occur by arrang-
combine working life with family and leisure life.
ing debate events of different kinds where people
These shared facilities may include day-care cen-
from outside the company are invited to present
ters, sports clubs, etc. The facilities also provide
different topics. Another possibility is to include
the possibility of meeting across companies and
the public or clients directly in the product devel-
creating informal relations which may be of great
opment of the company in order to ensure a short
importance in the professional work–and thus
distance between the producer and the user
the value creation–of the company. A financial
because the market is generally characterized by
gain is also obtained through lower operating
shorter product cycles than previously.
Helsecampus (Health campus) in Trondheim, Norway, is a very good example of not just shared location but shared facilities. Within the same buildings, the premises available are being used in turns by the hospital, university and different companies working within the healthcare sector.
The advertising agency Parters & Spade in NoHO, New York City, is located in a ‘shop’ to make specific exhibitions in collaboration with their business partners and sell the articles which they are advertising. This creates a unique possibility to obtain new impulses and direct user contact.
OFFENTLIGE RUM & INSTITUTIONER
3 The Public Realm
Here, we examine how the
The public realm must be
The following examples focus
public realm and the public
recognized as a working space
on the public realm as ‘an edu-
spaces serving the public may
which may contribute to the
cational landscape’. They are
represent potential for the
creation of ideas, creativity
about establishing the public
value creation of companies.
and learning. In this regard,
domain as a space for knowl-
The section is about how the
public institutions are playing
edge sharing and inspiration
public realm and its public
an important role as examples
where the public spaces and
spaces can contribute to creat-
since many are open to the
institutions become platforms
ing junctions where people
public and may support this
for idea generation.
meet rather than spread.
through visibility in the public realm.
DYNAMISM/ In the future, the public space will increasingly be characterized FLEXIBILITY by meetings between different interests which each contribute to creating an environment that encourages interaction.
45 Mix the functions of the public realm
Mix housing and business for entrepreneurs
As previously described, the development of
These means are primarily for creating increased
industrial cluster areas and campus areas rep-
visibility for small companies and especially
resents an important competitive parameter of
small entrepreneurial businesses. They often
which many cities are aware. Knowledge sharing
consist of one or two persons who do not neces-
across these players as it is found in a cluster or
sarily have independent business facilities but
on a campus is dependent on connecting links
work from home.
which invite and encourage interaction. It is thus about integration of industrial cluster areas and
In this arrangement, they are not an integrated
campus areas in the public realm. It demands ac-
part of the public realm and are thus missing
cessibility in the area with connections–not just
out on important contacts with the surrounding
for cars but also for cyclists and pedestrians–be-
world–with both customers and business part-
tween different companies and between the com-
ners –which may help to improve the economy
panies and the different urban functions in the
and contribute to the development of new
area. Furthermore, proximity must be created
products or services. By eroding the clear distinc-
between different existing functions, potentially
tion between business and housing and creating
by creating so-called ‘mosaic planning’ where
new hybrid conditions, small entrepreneurial
both small and large companies are located close
businesses can use and contribute to the creation
to each other.
of an educational public realm to a greater extent.
RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. An integrated campus in the city center.
The so-called ‘Bokalerne’ in the buildings Rosengården of Malmö, Sweden, is a good example of the clear distinction between housing and business being eroded by building extensions to the existing housing blocks with shops and other businesses in immediate connection to the houses. Photo: MKB.
Strengthen the input of knowledge
Offer flexible public meeting places
The city often holds untapped knowledge re-
To prepare the ground for interaction between
sources which may be an active part of an edu-
different kinds of people in a way that may con-
cational public realm. It may be schools, other
tribute to learning and innovation, it is important
educational institutions, or a library. It is about
to have different kinds of public spaces. Among
making the knowledge possessed by these insti-
other things, this requires different degrees of
tutions accessible to companies which demands
flexibility which allow that employees use the
a new mode of thinking and the development of
public space as a working space, that people
new hybrid ‘knowledge hubs’/knowledge cen-
meet and exchange ideas, and that a larger group
ters. Such ‘knowledge hubs’ may - if they are used
gathers in a professional relationship. These
- raise new kinds of questions to the companies
different kinds of publicity must not necessarily
in order for them to develop. It may happen by
be arranged and designed beforehand but can be
involving schoolchildren and upper secondary
created on the basis of a flexible framework. The
schools in work concerning development and
meeting places must be able to work as alterna-
communication. In other words, it is not just
tive working spaces outside the company where
about input of knowledge but also about creating
it is possible to meet with customers and busi-
the basis for development and innovation.
ness partners on ‘neutral ground’.
Idea Store in the eastern part of London is an example of a new kind of hybrid based on the traditional library, but also houses different kinds of supplementary training for uneducated people as well as leisure courses. Furthermore, Idea Store distinguishes itself through integration in the public realm via a large open entrance to the street and direct entrance from a supermarket inside the building. It invites many kinds of people inside. Photo: George Rex
Harvard Yard (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) represents a flexible public space with movable chairs, which makes it possible to arrange them in different kinds of areas.
47 Create junctions as strategic public spaces for development and innovation A precursor to the knowledge-based society is an
In a similar way, car-pooling in private cars may
increase in the specialization of the workforce.
also have the potential to establish and use
This trend has the side effect of longer commutes
networks and knowledge sharing. In Washington
between employees’ home and the company.
DC in the USA, a phenomenon called ‘slugging’
The tendency is particularly noticeable near
has been created due to rules trying to limit the
the major cities. In Vallensbæk, Denmark (a
number of private cars with only one person on
suburb of Copenhagen), only 15% of the employed
the motorways. Here, private individuals–per-
work within the municipal boundary, while
sons who don’t know each other beforehand–
44% of all employed persons in Denmark are
drive together to and from work in an organized
classified as commuters. (Source: Danmarks
way. This has reduced traffic noticeably and
Statistik,Denmark’s Statistics Office).
participating persons say they save 30 minutes per day on average with the arrangement–but
The railway station is often reduced to a
valuable new relationships are also created.
junction, but it represents an important strategic public realm with so many people passing through every day. This role as junction can be strengthened order for the railway station to become an attractive public space in the development of an educational public realm. This may happen by adding other functions to the railway area which invite people to not just rush through the railway station, but to stay for a while and thus transform it into a meeting space. One hybrid space within the public realm for commuters is ‘the rolling public spaces’ in express buses and trains where employees can work in meeting rooms and at computers with a good internet connection. Google in Sillicon Valley uses this opportunity between San Francisco and their headquarters Googleplex, situated approximately 65 kilometres from the city.
The central junction of Kassel Hauptbahnhof (Kassel Central Station, Germany) is an important indoor public space after the transformation of the station in 1995 to ‘Kulturbahnhof’ (Culture Railway Station). Here, traffic is combined with cultural experiences as galleries and exhibitions, center of architecture, two cinemas and a theatre.
Norrköping, Sweden: Public Realm–Industrilandskapet Company–STV (Swedish Television) Employees–Tyréens
Urban district as educational landscape Industrilandskapet in Norrköping, Sweden EMPLOYEE
Norrköping, Sweden, previously held large and
was built. ‘Louis de Geer’ was a huge gamble but
important industries within the manufactur-
today represents an important entrance to the
ing of textile and paper. As in many other cities
area. The concert hall is also used for concerts
around the world, this has changed and the city
and events and houses a restaurant which is open
has been transformed remarkably since the end
outside concert hours. Some of the old industrial
of the 20th century.
buildings have also been appointed museums– Arbetets Museum (working-class museum) and
A central component of this development is a
Stadsmuseet (city museum).
part of a city called Industrilandskapet (meaning the industrial landscape). This urban area is in
Today, the area is distinguished by a mix of uni-
immediate proximity to the center of the city and
versity, a science park, an exhibition and event
is characterized by a beautiful landscape and the
place (Värmekyrkan), a company incubator, and
river Motala Ström (also known as Strömmen)
a number of small companies. Combined with the
which runs through the area where many old in-
number of cultural institutions, it results in many
dustrial buildings of high architectural value are
different people in the area which is supported
situated. When the industrial firms closed and
by attractive promenade connections along the
the area depopulated, a process to redefine the
river, interesting new public spaces (as Skvaller-
area began. Perhaps the most important decision
torget - the Skvaller Square) and a small park at
was to build a department of Linköping Univer-
the university. The efforts are meant to make the
sity in this area. The university has acted as a
area open and accomodating despite the often
magnet for other kinds of companies and institu-
closed old industrial buildings. One example is
tions. Today, the area is the biggest concentration
Strykbrädan which houses Norrköping Science
of knowledge-based companies in the region.
Park and the company incubator LEAD. On the ground floor, Coffice (Coffee + Office) is situated for
Another important driving force behind the
those who need an informal and creative work-
development of the area is the many cultural
ing environment as well as restaurant on the
investments. By establishing different cultural
ground floor which attracts people to the area.
institutions in Industrilandskapet, an area has opened up which previously appeared to be very
Industrilandskapet is characterized by incessant
introverted to those who were not working there.
development where new initiatives are constant-
The first step was taken when a new concert hall
ly being developed.
An example is the large-scale Visualiserings-
center houses a cinema, an exhibition site, and a
center C (Visualization Center C), which opened
restaurant which is open to both the employees
in 2010 and provides a meeting place centered
of the center (such as university researchers
on visualization technology. It is the result of a
and students) as well as other visitors. Thus, the
partnership between Linköping University, Nor-
center covers the urban community of Norr-
rköping municipality, Norrköping Science Park,
köping broadly and works as a facilitator for new
and Interactive Institute. Today, the Visualiza-
types of collaboration between the private sector,
tion Center C works as a very interesting hybrid
research, and education.
between art and science. The center has close relations to the visualization research depart-
All of this helps to attract many different new
ments of the university and aims to communicate
companies–and other players–to the area.
different aspects of visualization (technology)
Each contributes to develop the area and gener-
to the general public. Among other things, the
ate increased value as the driver for the city’s development.
Industrilandskapet is situated in production buildings previously used for manufacturing textiles, weapons, paper, and electronics. Today, primarily knowledge-based companies are situated in the area.
The company as a player in the Public Realm SVT
SVT is the national television station in Sweden
by what is going on outside the company, and
and is located in different parts of the country,
where the general public can have an insight into
including Norrköping. The location here and
their work and may express their opinion about
more precisely in Industrilandskapet is by no
it. In other words, it is important to STV to show
means accidental but rather a manifestation of a
their merit by demonstrating their actual value to
very conscious strategy by the television station.
a general public. • Between urban area and building level: STV
SVT is founded on values of accessibility, visibil-
has chosen a shared location with SR (Sveriges
ity, proximity, and accommodation. These values
Radio - Swedish Radio) in order to gain synergy
not only affect the employees of the company but
between the two institutions.
the overall organisational strategy of the com-
• Building level: STV has been strategic in the
pany. SVT has recently dealt with the question
attempt to transform their values to the way they
of location when the company moved into new
are physically present. This is taking place by
facilities in Industrilandskapet in 2010.
the establishment of an open ground floor where editorial meetings are held. The aim is that
The strategic considerations relate to different
the meetings should give a sense of openness
towards the public and that STV becomes a sort of
• Regionally: STV has chosen to locate in
‘speakers’ corner’–a place for discussion among
Norrköping in order to be located centrally
many different kinds of people.
in Sweden and thus comply with the aim of proximity for the majority and to be an accessible
STV is an example of how the key task and values
of companies can be closely connected to loca-
• Urban area level: Industrilandskapet was
tion. For STV, the public realm becomes a means
chosen because STV had the opportunity to
to fulfill the vision of the company.
locate in an urban area close to a university. Their location in the city center was also chosen to increase the organization’s prominence and visibility. The wish to locate in the center is in accordance with the community role of STV. Their aim is to have a close relationship with the surrounding society where they can be inspired
STV is situated along the river in Industrilandskapet.
The innovative employee The perspective of the employee:
Manager of Tyréns in Norrköping
Tyréns is a consultancy company involved in construction from a social perspective. The company moved into the premises of Industrilandskapet in Norrköping a few years ago in the midst of the university, a large number of innovative companies, exhibition centers and cultural institutions. The purpose was partly to create a more attractive workplace and partly to be located in an innovative environment in order to obtain inspiration and possibilities for collaboration. The employees of the company solve a number of cross-functional tasks for customers through extensive collaboration with other companies situated within the same part of the city. Thereby, a number of practical networks are established between employees of different companies resulting in more practice and culture in connection with networking. The employee interviewed describes this network as a new kind of company which connects the employees across the companies and institutions in all directions and thereby establishes an urban network organization with its own dynamism and a way of life and working culture which reflects this new reality and approach to collaboration. The surrounding city and environment seems inspiring for the employees as a place for reflection and absorption amidst the working day.
Johanna Grander, employee of TyrĂŠns
The informal meeting may result in new customers窶天esterbro, Copenhagen
A general outlook The starting point of this report is that the relationship between the value creation of companies and the public realm is not fully documented in regards to the importance of the city as a whole or the internal arrangement of the company. The report has discussed a number of questions and suggested means illustrated through case studies and examples. The report is more a beginning than an end, but it suggests that the public realm may be of great importance to the value creation of companies. It is hoped that this publication may be of inspiration to further work and increase the attention to this not-yet-fullydocumented subject. The report is an invitation to a number of considerations and further
2. The disclosure of the process and the players The report discloses the subject as relevant to a number of players but it does not indicate how this collaboration should be established with descriptions of responsibility, conditions of ownership, systematic problems, cultural standards, processes, etc. There are strong indications that a number of truly committed partners are needed in order to run this collaborationâ€“especially in newly established urban areas. It is a relevant area of priority to be elaborated upon in order to obtain deeper understanding and experience in both user dialogue and process management.
elaboration on the subject.
3. New demands for the physical environment
1. The need to develop more knowledge
The interaction between the company and the
There is a need to qualify knowledge within the subjectâ€“preferably in the form of collaborations across disciplines such as in different academic professional groups and in partnerships between companies and research centers. This report shows that much knowledge about the subject (and good solutions) must be found across traditional demarcations.
public realm may have an influence on both the types of business and the different kinds of public realms. The programming of activities, arrangement of functions, the design of the ground floor, zones of security, etc. all affect the meeting between the company and the public realm. There is a need for increased knowledge of the relevant parameters of design, such as tool sets, concepts of design for the spatial, physical, and material designing of a stimulating public realm as well as the transition between building and public realm.
Interview surveys: summarizing table Industry (number)
Property/ construction (3)
Creative companies culture/media (4)
Cultural institutions/ media (6)
City center (3)
City center (1)
City center (2)
City center (3)
Location (by type of area) for the respondents in this survey.
Previous industrial area (1)
Previous industrial area (2)
Previous industrial area (2)
Previous industrial area (3)
Use of the city
• Prestige, visibility • Balanced location strategy–consider the different needs of different customers
• Profiling through location • Location as part of company values regarding innovation • Not conscious (real estate agent)
• A large number of customers regionally • Traditional cluster thinking in concern with being close to other banks
• Customers (found both locally and nationally)
• Other media companies locally, nationally and internationally • Networking primarily in the capital • Networking managed by customers • Customers all over the world (few local networks but a wish to be more engaged in it)
• Citizens in the city • Would like to have a facilitating role between groups–citizens and entrepreneurial environments (student center)
Demands to/off the City
• Good interaction between ground floor and public realm • Traffic accessibility
• Conscious of the importance of the ground floor but sees a challenge in beginning early as well as broad plans being a challenge
• Physical proximity: education, political management and business life • Culture for distribution of information is important • Diversity in the city • Environments providing inspiration - new hybrid spaces • Less commercial meeting places • Important to have a university environment– new knowledge and ideas
• Urbanity demands densely built-up areas • Focus on inviting public realm which may contribute to synergy guiding people • Incentive to stay in the public realm • Transparency and not isolation in the public realm
• Support the vision of the company • Part of the branding strategy • Use the landscape & cafés • Informal work meetings/ business meetings • The city is important to the employees, a place for inspiration (surprises) and innovation • Location–a conscious choice supporting the identity of the company– peace and transparency simultaneously (a building which people can enter while remaining in the city)
• Use the whole city as a workplace–be in the center of interest and where people are in order to follow the trends. A need for contact with society–transparency • Contribute considerably to the city–reach out and act as an urban living room, a meeting place
Research institution (1)
Educational institutions (3)
Industrial area (1)
City center/peripheral region (1)
Previous industrial area (3)
Previous industrial area (1) Peripheral region (1)
Previous industrial area (2)
• An attractive public realm for the employees– and is thus considered an economic factor
• Location in order to retain employees
• See themselves as a strong urban capacity which contributes to urban activity • The historical issue in the area is a source of inspiration • Location is essential to they kind of educational institution they want to be • Use of the local area in connection with project work by students • Shared location is necessary in order to generate the possibilities for the their students
• Marketing of the city • Reduce the mental distance between campus area and the city center in order to profit from the city development which has taken place and in particular how Kjeller represents in Norway
• Proximity to transport and urban pleasures (would like to pay more)
• Marketing of the city • Reduce the mental distance between campus area and the city center in order to profit from the city development which has taken place and in particular how Kjeller represents in Norway
• Traffic and parking are important factors • Attractive urban life in the center with restaurants and shops
• Transparency in buildings indicating the right thing to do when creating connections and inviting others • Need of open meeting places with space for surprises which may generate new kinds of meetings
Campus as center of city development Malmรถ Hรถgskola (Malmรถ University), Dockan, Malmรถ, Sweden
Suggestions for Further Reading Bakke, John Willy (ed.): A Nordic Guide to Work-
Hansen, Høgni Kalsø: The Urban Turn – and the
place Design. Nordic Innovation Center, 2007.
location of economic activities. Lund Universitet, 2008.
Campbell, John L. ; Ove K. Pedersen: Institutional competitiveness in the global
Hansen, HK & Winther, L: The Urban Turn:
economy : Denmark, the United States, and the
Cities, Talent and Knowledge in Denmark.
varieties of capitalism, 2007.
Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 2012.
Carillo, Francisco (ed.): Knowledge Cities. Ap-
Jacobs, Jane: The Death and Life of Great Ameri-
proaches, Experiences and Perspectives. Taylor
can Cities, 1961.
& Francis Ltd, 2005. Jacobs, Jane: The Economy of Cities, 1970. Florida, Richard: The Rise of the Creative Class. 2002.
Kayden, Jerold: Privately Owned Public Space : The New York City Experience, 2000.
Florida, Richard: Who’s Your City? 2008. OECD: Growth Follow-Up: Micro-Policies for Gehl, Jan: Cities for People, Island Press, 2010.
Growth and Productivity, 2001.
Gehl, Jan: Life Between Buildings, 1987.
Schittich, Christian: Work Environments. Actarbirkhauser. 2012.
Glaeser, Edward: Triumph of the city. How Our Greatest Inventions Make Us Richer, Smarter,
Whyte, William: City: Rediscovering the Center,
Greener, Healthier and Happier.
Pan MacMillan, 2012. Hansen, HK , Vang, J & Asheim, BT: The European Creative Class and Regional Development, 2009.
Published on Jul 22, 2014
The report is based on the three fundamental factors: the employee, the company and the public realm. The report discusses nine questions an...