Making Impact: Understanding social impact at Wilton Park, Dublin
A first of its kind, Making Impact is a long-term study commissioned by IPUT Real Estate Dublin on the social impact of investment at their Wilton Park estate in Dublin. The inaugural report is the first in a series to be published over the next five years. It establishes an impact framework, 73 metrics and six initial placemaking learnings.
IPUT Real Estate Dublin is a long-term investor in the built environment with a track record of almost 60 years of responsible investment in Dublin, Ireland. In re-developing its Wilton Park estate — which incorporates a 650,000 sq ft mixed use scheme and one acre city park — IPUT sought to understand and measure the social impact of its investment. This study, Making Impact, will evaluate the social, cultural, economic and environmental impact of investments at Wilton Park over a five year period.
Making Impact, is led by IPUT Real Estate in collaboration with Hassell’s urban research lead Camilla Siggaard Andersen and international placemaking and design experts PRD and Gehl. The world’s first ever long-term study is expected to inform an important global debate on the future of cities and social impact investment in the built environment.
“While there is a growing body of evidence that speaks to the value of placemaking and social impact investment, few studies have been undertaken at this scale or with such strong roots in a living case study.”
— Camilla Siggaard Andersen
Launching in the UK today, the first report evaluates the impact of IPUT’s investments in Wilton Park’s public spaces with six initial lessons from year one:
1. SMALL GESTURES GO A LONG WAY Investing in small, thoughtful touches that improve people’s everyday quality of life can make a very big impact. Sometimes, all it takes to make a place more attractive is comfortable, movable seating and a coffee kiosk nearby.
2. IT’S PLACEMAKING, IT’S PERSONAL A personal approach has helped build trust and a good working relationship with our neighbours. It’s been the first step in creating a welcoming social space that brings people together.
3. COLLABORATION ENHANCES IMPACT The placemaking programme at Wilton Park has underpinned the importance of combining IPUT’s strengths with the strengths of individuals and organisations across the community.
4. A 360° APPROACH TO IMPACT INVESTING IS KEY IPUT’s development at Wilton Park is teaching us the importance of not rushing in. Of taking a holistic approach that reaches beyond physical improvements to public spaces. Of supporting initiatives with programming and good governance structures across a variety of scales. Of involving all relevant stakeholders.
5. MAKING AN EFFORT IS THE FIRST STEP TO MAKING AN IMPACT Since starting construction in 2018, IPUT have made a concerted effort to increase people’s enjoyment of Wilton Park with temporary art installations, public realm improvements, and community-oriented activities.
6. FLEXIBILITY BUILDS RESILIENCE Places, by their nature, are dynamic. They are constantly responding to changing circumstances determined by macro and micro trends and, occasionally, to global events.