Making Places Profitable - Public and Private Open Spaces


MP4 focused on innovative approaches for planning and designing, maintaining and using public places. The project aim was to demonstrate how open space improvements offered positive socio-economic benefits, and how the benefits offered to key communities could be maintained in the long run (‘place-keeping'). In cooperation with key EU policymakers and networks, the project activities illustrated support for greater interaction between all those involved in the open space management process.

The project created and promoted model agreements for partnerships and social enterprises and implemented 8 urban regeneration projects. As an end result the project developed an EU-level Agenda for place-keeping and mainstream best practice across the North Sea Region.

01/09/2008 - 30/09/2012
4 - Promoting Sustainable and Competitive Communities
Area of Intervention
4.2 Promoting sustainable growth solutions for expanding areas
ERDF Grant
2,913,771.00 €
ERDF Equivalent
Total Eligible Budget
5,827,543.00 €
Lead Beneficiary
Sheffield City Council (South Yorkshire Forest Partnership), UK
Tom Wild
Tel: +44 (0)114 257 1199
Project Homepage
Beneficiaries per Country
United Kingdom
Sheffield City Council (South Yorkshire Forest Partnership)
University of Sheffield
Heriot-Watt University
The Netherlands
Gemeente Emmen
HafenCity Universitat Hamburg HCU
Lawaetz Foundation Hamburg
Vlaamse Landmaatschappij
Göteborgs Stad
University of Copenhagen, Centre for Forest, Landscape and Planning
Background and Aim

To demonstrate how the positive socio-economic impacts of open space improvements could be maintained in the long run (‘place-keeping') by promoting innovative partnership approaches involving private enterprises, communities and government.

MP4 mainstreamed best practice in place-keeping across the whole of the North Sea Region. Through transnational cooperation, it demonstrated how socio-economic growth could be stimulated and maintained through long-term physical improvement.

The strategic goal was to bring about a major shift in EU cohesion policy towards the long-term security of its investments.

A key challenge facing communities throughout the North Sea Region is to offer a high quality of life, in order to attract skilled employees in the global knowledge economy. This is a concern shared by areas in economic decline and in post-industrial communities where the threat of market-failure is most acutely felt. Key EU policies supporting the Lisbon/Gothenburg process confirm the importance of providing attractive investment locations.

Making Places Profitable therefore highlighted the importance of ‘place-keeping', and its delivery in partnership. It applied the proven approach of mainstreaming best practice across the whole of North Sea Region, showing how to maintain the positive impact of concrete actions, in perpetuity.

The challenge was to maintain the real and multiple benefits of well designed places. The project combined efforts to solve the problem that too much emphasis was being placed on ‘creation' rather than long-term upkeep. In practice, open space managers increasingly recognised the danger of cities constantly revisiting and ‘improving' previous projects, which was neither environmentally or economically sustainable.

This problem was compounded by the fact that many local authorities and public agencies faced a constant struggle to obtain sufficient resources for maintenance. Place-keeping suffered from being unglamorous, whilst being important for social, economic and environmental reasons.

This was a job that no single member state could achieve alone. The challenge was of such a magnitude that it required the critical mass of action that only transnational cooperation could deliver. The partners in Making Places Profitable worked hard together to find strategies to upgrade public and private open spaces and to provide for their long term maintenance.

  • Definition, test and implementation of ‘open space' improvements - offered for positive socio-economic benefits embracing private enterprises, communities and government
  • Delivery of an EU Agenda for place-keeping
  • Influence on cohesion policies to mainstream place-keeping best practice
  • Assessment of existing place-keeping experiences
  • Production and implemention of model agreements
  • 8 urban regeneration projects, covering areas such as construction, green infrastructures, master planning
  • Evaluation of transnational impacts and transferability of the ‘on-ground' of ‘open space' improvements (economic, social and environmental impacts).

Pilot Project: Eriksbo, before during and after

Pilot Project: Loevgaerdet, before and after

Pilot Project: Firth Park, before during and after

Pilot Project: Barger Compascuum, before during and after

Pilot Project: Oostkampus, before during and after

Pilot Project: Steilshoop, before during and after

Pilot Project: Sheaf Valley Park before, during and after

Final Conference Phptos; site visits; conference proceedings

Community Events: DK; UK; DE; NL; SE

Firth Park Work in Progress

Firth Park Before Work Began

Barger Compascuum Village Centre Completed

Barger Compascuum Village Centre Completed

Before the Work Began - Sheaf Valley

The Early Days for Sheaf Valley Park

Sheaf Valley Park Amphitheatre
Addressing the Disconnect
Case Study: Woesten Land Consolidation Management Plan
Urban Improvement Districts in Germany
Case Study: Themed Playgrounds Malmo SE
Pilot Model Steilshoop
Case Study: Langthwaite Grange UK
Case Study: Aarhus
Case Study Summary: Aarhus
Case Study: Gardsten
Case Study Summary: Gardsten
Case Study: Poeke Park, Aalter BE
Case Study: NID Steilshoop Hamburg
Case Study: Interbestuurlijk Plattelandsoverleg/Intergovernmental Rural Dialogue
Case Study: Highways and Green Spaces Telford
Case Study: Hailes Quarry Park Edinburgh
Case Study: HafenCity Hamburg
Case Study: Green Estate
Case Study: Neighbourhood Lenzsiedlung
Case Study Summary: Neighbourhood Lenzsiedlung
Case Study: Craigmillar
Case Study Summary: Craigmillar
Case Study: The BID Experience
Case Study: Buergerpark Bremen
Case Study: space for teens
Community Capacity
Defining Place-keeping
Developing an Area Based Approach
Evolving Involvement
Transnational Assessment of Online Wegewart
Literature Review
Literature Review Summary
Model Agreements for Place-keeping of Open Spaces
The Model of Neighbourhood Improvement Districts in Hamburg
Place-keeping in Masterplanning
Transnational Learning Mid Term Report
Transnational Learning Final Report Draft
Urban Improvement Districts in Germany
Introducing a Method for Mapping
Introducing a Method for Mapping Recreational Experience
Experience Mapping and Planning
Gathering Gardeners' Knowledge
Model Agreement VLM
Model Agreement Steilshoop Hamburg
Model Agreement BID Hamburg
Model Agreement Gothenburg
Model Agreement Firth Park/SCC
Model Agreement Emmen
Transnational Assessment of Practice
Dealing with Funding and Finance
Dealing with Evaluation
Dealing with Governance and Engagement
Dealing with Partnerships
Model Agreements Review
Model Agreements Overview
Transnational Learning Strategy
Opportunities to Integrate Future Place-keeping into Spatial Masterplans
Experience as a Method for Green Space Valuation
Making Places Profitable - Public and Private Open Spaces
Pilot for Neighbourhood Improvement District Steilshoop
Maintenance of Public Open Spaces
Private Initiatives for Open Spaces
Housing Improvement Districts
Urban Improvement Districts: Experiences from Europe
Who Cares for our Open Spaces?
Urban Improvement Districts: Hamburg (Copenhagen)
Urban Improvement Districts: Hamburg
Urban Improvement Districts: The Hamburg Experience
Skejby Presentation
University of Copenhagen Newsletter 2
University of Copenhagen Newsletter
The Aarhus Lab
Greenspace Experience as a Tool for Mapping
E-Mapping in Eriksbo
Experience as a Method for Evaluation
Oostcampus Brochure
Evaluation Report: Barger Compascuum
Evaluation Report: Getmove Basketball Leisure Park Steilshoop
Evaluation Report: Oostkamp
Evaluation Report: Firth Park
Evaluation Report: Eriksbo
Evaluation Report: Loevgaerdet
Evaluatoin Report: Sheaf Valley Park
Evaluation Report: Gamlestaden
Brief Introduction to the Hamburg Case
Transnational Learning Final Evaluation Report - Draft
Place-making and Place-keeping of Open Spaces - MP4
MP4: An Introduction
Model Agreements in Place-keeping
MP4: experiences from open space regeneration in Scotland
Governance in Place-keeping
Ripples in the Pond Questionnaire
An Investigation into Trust Led Involvement in Place-keeping
Trusts: an investigation of Trust-led involvement in place-keeping
Developing an Area Based Approach to Open Space Management
Place-keeping: responsive, long-term open space management
Observations in Firth Park
Place-keeping Through Partnership: Workshop Feedback
Place-keeping Through Partnership: Workshop 3 Notes
Place-keeping Through Partnership: Workshop 1 Notes
Placekeeping Through Partnership: Workshop 2 Notes
Place-keeping Through Partnership
Partnerships in Place-keeping
Community Partnerships
Place-keeping in Practice
Place Matters: management, place-keeping and funding of open spaces
Evolving Involvement
Transnational Assesssment of Practice in Place-keeping
Existing Transnational Experiences of Place-keeping
Place-keeping in the Cultural Landscape
Place Matters
MP4 Green Estate Project
Place-keeping: urban green space in the long term
MP4 Final Report
MP4's 5 Policy Documents in German
Policy Document 5: Evaluation
Policy Document 4: Policy
Policy Document 3: Finance
Policy Document 2: Partnerships
Policy Document 1: Governance
MP4 Place-keeping Charter
Project Lifetime Critical Report: Firth Park
Project Lifetime Critical Report: Sheaf Valley Park
Project Lifetime Critical Report: Oostcampus
Project Lifetime Critical Report: Barger Compascuum
Project Lifetime Critical Report: Loevgaerdet and Eriksbo
Report on Critical Reporting
Valuatin and Evaluation: experiences from MP4 pilot projects
The Policy and Planning Context within a Political Economy
How can we Improve the Current Policy Framework for Place-keeping?
Policy and Planning: a practitioner's view
The Eco-neighbourhoods; an alternative to urban sprawl
Valuation and Evaluation: lessons from MP4
People and Partnerships: co-operation and collaboration or convenience and compromise
Partnerships in Place-keeping
Gamlestaden, Gothenburg - always a strategic site
Place-keeping by Trust
Best Practice the Sheaf Valley Park Way
Funding and Finance: Lessons from MP4
Funding and Finance - NSR
Governance and Management: lessons from MP4
Revitalising the Village Centre of Barger Compascuum
The MP4 Legacy
Final Conference Flyer
MP4 Project Launch
MP4 Workshop Bremen
Making Places Profitable - Mid Term Conference Presentation
Sheaf Valley Park - The Story

Event Calendar
Events Archive