Claremont's Pop-Up Festival Makes Spaghetti Fruit Loops From Soufflé

I haven't re-compensated the latter graph in each of these profiles.

But I suspect that Thursday the 27th's (March) Pop-Up Festival is what's giving us such green mountains, here.

We have two counters in Claremont, installed with the co-operation of Stephen Goode, Brian Kavanagh and Ashley Edwards at the Town of Claremont. These counters provide 24/7 data of who's using Claremont's town centre.

Claremont Now are a Town of Claremont and business community management body, providing precinct marketing: place management, I'd like to call it.

Of course, one of these functions is the accurate counting of shoppers, customers or even normal people all day, every day.

The counting equipment is non-invasive and definitely doesn't record any personal information. You just appear as a blob on the screen; so does your dog, actually, because my counters only read body heat.

I have been asked to provide quotes for a state government project using WiFi-pinging.

That is where we invade your mobile phone. That's nearly illegal in some countries so I don't do that.



Spaghetti western, alphabetti, fruit loop style. This is the prettiest graph we make.

What we do is we take all the bits and bobs - bytes and bits - that the counters produce and extrapolate them into every hour of the month - so that's about ... lots (OK, adding up here ... 24 X 31 = (310 + 310 + [4 x 31 = 124]) = 620, 744 hours).

744 hours.

We then allocate each block of twenty-four hours to its day of the week and, hey presto, we get the average hourly trend for each day of the week.

Just to play: this chart is the first one we did for you, in Claremont; Empire Furniture (is the location), 12 Bay View Terrace.

(Call out to David Johns and the team there - they let us store our little internet box onsite there).

This is July 2013 and isn't it beautiful?


Today, nine months later, this is what we see. Very different, yet very similar.

That incredible purple peak (Fridays 12 - 1pm) has obediently risen, in shape, like a soufflé.

Everything else has retained it's reasonable form. Thursdays, though, have experienced an after 5 jump (and this may just be due to the Pop-up Festival. We'll come back next month to see - right?).


But let's cross the street to the Claremont Quarter Shopping Centre.

On the ouside of the centre near Mecca Cosmetica we installed a second counter (again, with the kind help of the Claremont business community in the form of Darren Fletcher, Sean Duffin and Hawaiian, the friendly property group).

Here the foot traffic profile is very different. Less people overall (to Empire's counter) but a real wild Sunday.

Again we see that green mountain.


Above: The first month of counting for us, September 2013.

Below: The most recent month: March 2014



An Analysis Of Foot Traffic In Bay View Terrace, Claremont, For February 2014

Foot traffic in Bay View Terrace has been recorded since July 2013.

Two counters provide different profiles. One is at Empire Furniture. The second is across the road, at Mecca Cosmetica.

Above: The first people counter being installed in July 2013. Empire Furniture, next to Claremont News.

Below: This is where the second people counter is installed: Mecca Cosmetica.

The month of February looked like this for both locations, with totals of 97,364 at Empire Furniture and 79,731 at Mecca Cosmetica for the month:


Empire Furniture: The greatest footfall was 4,371 people on Thursday 13th and the lowest: 1,755 on Sunday the 9th.

Mecca Cosmetica: The greatest footfall was 3,733 people on Thursday 27th and the lowest: 2,204 on Sunday the 2nd. 


Empire Furniture: The busiest day is Friday with a long-term average of 4,000 people per day.

Mecca Cosmetica: The busiest day is Thursday with  a long-term average of 3,820 people per day. 

If you would like to access the full reports, please click below:

Claremont People Counting Report - February 2014 - Bay View Terrace 1 - Empire Furniture

Claremont People Counting Report - February 2014 - Bay View Terrace 2 - Mecca Cosmetica

Well, That Went Well

That went well. All of November's people counting reports are tucked away warmly in their client's desks.

And I will do that again. I will blog about charts as I create them.

In the meantime, I've begun a summary-chart, comparing all counters in my network - a League Table, if you like.

Below: People counting totals in Perth for the month of November, 2013

4 Reasons Why You Should Attract Independent Retail To Your City

When you're new in a city the first people to treat you well, like you're not a stranger, are the merchants.

Repeat a visit to a restaurant and small nods of nourishing acknowledgement go your way. 

This is the building of a relationship which, in-turn, builds your society.

Attract independant retailers to your city for quality contact that:

  1. Builds your community quicker.
  2. Gives it more locally-distinct flavour or character.
  3. Makes your city more diverse, as the difficult-to-replicate, place-based and distinct roots of the independent retailer also attracts a customer- and residential-base which is diverse itself.
  4. Makes your city more resilient as the city is filled with thousands of invisible personal networks which constantly generate collaboratition and innovation.

To the visitor, to the consumer, a smile is better if it's warmer.

We often forget that independent retailers have the warmest smiles.

And an independent retailer's smile builds your society fastest and best.

Below: Her Message Clothing & Shoes, Old Theatre Lane, 50 Bay View Terrace, Claremont, Australia.

This is A World First, Probably

We have just released our first comprehensive local district pedestrian counting report.

And you can have a copy.

Make sure you're subscribed to A Beautiful City (put your email in - over there on the right).

And like us on Facebook, too.

And click all the other things on the right and like, share and ... whatever.

Then let me know and I'll email you it ... for free (

But first, a taste ...

Above: Each day of the week measured, averaged and compared - growth from July to August 2013 - for the local district of Claremont, Western Australia - one of the country's top-ten retail areas by rental cost.


A New York State of Mind - Don't Go There

Times Square is an an example of a small, privately held cluster of shops which has bandied-together and created a marketing face.  Yes, it's run by the landlord, which probably charges out the marketing to the tenants.  That's fine.  That's a great system.

Like most shopping centre marketing, it leads with a female-female-female based narrative.  And that name wouldn't be the first marketing campaign which tried to send the reader into a New York State of Mind.  I can't find the link now but I saw a recent, local image of a chick at a table with the byline, 'SoHo?' to advertise a local centre.

Retail marketing, the selling of apartments and their lifestyle claims ('New York Style Apartments' - sheesh, really?) ...  this is testimony of the place-brand that is New York City.  I don't think we should do it though. The beautiful thing about place is that a sustainable economy and community is dependant upon us all digging deep and finding something local to love.

We'll get there.

Above: A small arcade of Times Square Claremont with L'Amour Kids, corner of Stirling Highway and Avion Way, Claremont, Australia

Back to Basics

I have been back in Perth about a week now.

And this is what I can tell you about what I see, fresh eyes, straight off the plane ...

  • This place is clean.  That's good.
  • This place is quiet.  That's good, a bit, although I know when the rain stops and the heat hits, there will be a lot more alcohol, road rage, street fighting and people giving me hass'.  That's bad.

That's about it for now.  My news is that we are finishing our people counter installs in Claremont this month and we will be announcing another client and their plans for A Beautiful City people counting systems soon too.

Also, I have been planning the replacement of my iPhone (lost or stolen in Hanoi) plus my travel computer as I intend to do more travelling and photography/writing on the road and need a great machine.

Hello Everyone

Hello everyone.

I / we have been busy lately, hence the lack of posts.  We have been installing and configuring people counters for the Town of Victoria Park.

It's very exciting to breath life into technology.

As the people counters are configured we can see the foot traffic statistics right before our eyes.  If something's not quite right, we can adjust the counter in real time to see an improvement in accuracy.

Fundamentally though, this assists us in managing our precinct.  We have real information which gives us new questions, and we don't ever have to waste time on guesswork.

After this, we're off to Claremont to install people counting systems for their precinct.

Shopfront Success at the Claremont Quarter - Benefits The Community

Above: Zimmerman, 23 St Quentin Avenue, Claremont, Australia

This is a successful streetscape, in my opinion, and all the parties must be acknowledged for making these courageous and advantageous decisions which have benefited the community.

So, 'Thank you' to:

  • The Town of Claremont
  • The Claremont Quarter landlord
  • The Claremont Quarter architects
  • The retailer

Stunning Public Artwork in Claremont

Above: The choices of the local authority, retailer and landlord combine to create a significantly more interesting streetscape in this location.

Customers are attracted to vibrant neighbourhoods, where the retail landscape is constantly changing, is locally distinct, on-the-move, and has a 'leading edge' which creates opportunities for all - the customer included.

All these outcomes can be accelerated through quality place management.

Public Art by Kyle Hughes-Odgers on the side of Zomp Shoes, 2 Bay View Terrace, Claremont, Australia.

Three things 'Heritage' gives us in Managing our Business Districts

This shopfront sign in Bay View Terrace is a beauty.

It is on the Westpac Bank and is a great innovation.

It describes the local business history of the people.

What do you get when you are given history or 'heritage'?

  1. Distinctiveness: things that are unique to your place are the stories.  They cannot be replicated elsewhere and this makes your place more interesting and competitive.
  2. Entertainment: discovering local, distinct stories is fun.  Placing them among the business district is a relieving contrast to the day's shopping or daily errands.  Business-stories are fascinating to people too - everyone has their own story of the 'shops in the olden days' - even if that was 2001!
  3. Comfort - a sense that people care enough to recall and display local stories reminds us that this place is all about community - the economy is just a sweet by-product of that.

Thank you, Westpac.

Above: Shopfront detail on the Westpac Bank, 27 Bay View Terrace in Claremont, Australia.

Retail Vacancy Rates in Our Town Centres

Yesterday was a day of shopfront measurement for people-counter installations.

Bay View Terrace Claremont, Albany Highway in East Victoria Park, King Street Perth and Rokeby Road Subiaco were all streets which got a visit from A Beautiful City.

How unusual, but delightful, to run into an old friend recording vacancy rates in Rokeby Road.

Colin and I passionately talked about retail, business district management and local government, and we then went our own ways.

Above: Colin Nichol recording vacancy rates in our High Streets - at Bella Hart Beauty Emporium, 151 Rokeby Road, Subiaco Australia

Ecology versus the economy again?

Here is another gem from Hawaiian Property Management and the Claremont Quarter.  On the Gugeri Street frontage, action is a little low.  Build the shopfronts anyway because they may be needed later, I say.

You can still have your garden in the meantime.  Smart.

Claremont Quarter, Gugeri Street frontage, Claremont Australia


Seed Of A Tall Poppy Planted In Claremont

This gives an idea of how tall the shop is.  Look at the people.  I've got a special tool that measures things such this and can tell you that this shop is 4.59m high to the top of the clapboard (15' 1").

Yes, this is better than a scungy little shop.  It lets in more light and just looks better.

Its a hard decision to make, but this shopping centre owner, this community, this local government made the right one.  The centre will have a longer life because the centre will be attractive to more people for longer.  This means its more sustainable and also becomes a more permanent part of the community.

Why do people prefer tall shops?  The same reason why a cathedral is tall and your attic is not, perhaps.

A courageous decision was made by the shopping centre owner and the Town of Claremont.  Congratu-bloody-lations.

Seed, Claremont Quarter Shopping Centre, Bay View Terrace, Claremont, Australia

Famous Julie Bishop spotted in Claremont

The power of the mainstreet reigns!  Julie Bishop, the famous politician, chooses Claremont to catch up with family and friends.  Here she is at Koko Black in the Claremont Quarter.  OK, it's technically not a mainstreet because its within the Claremont Quarter shopping centre in Claremont.

However!  I think it's fair to say that by choosing Claremont Quarter you are choosing Claremont town centre as it is integrated into the heart of the town excellently (my opinion).

Put it this way, if the Claremont Quarter was not developed, where Julie is sitting would still be a carpark.

Julie Bishop at Koko Black, Claremont, Australia