East Victoria Park

A Place Management First

If you are a Victoria Park person - or even if you're not - this may interest you.

We (me and the Town of Victoria Park) have been thermal-counting people since July 2013.

We've been counting in Albany Highway, East Victoria Park (near Baskin Robbins).

And Albany Highway, Victoria Park (at Kabuki Japanese Restaurant).

These remarkable devices read body heat from people passing below them.

All that data is sent to me via the internet, and I translate it into data visualisations.

You can enjoy these in the formal reporting I provide each month.

There's no secrets; these are to be retweeted, Facebooked, argued about and emailed around town.

The intent is to monitor footfall over time (is it rising or falling?).

That's important.

Secondly, this data arrests the reader who's looking for a community to express themselves in - hopefully as an interesting social entrepreneur with retail on their mind.

Bring them in.

We don't want vacant shops. We want really great social entrepreneurs filling them up and creating a vibrant economy.

Go on and get your report here - and tweet it, Facebook it and share it with your neighbours.

Click below for Vic Park or East Vic Park.

Vic Park

East Vic Park


Embarrassing Amount Of Famousness And Genius

I'm only posting this to inform you, esteemed reader, of updates in the day of A Beautiful City.

Called in as a last minute expert for Jamie Oliver, I appeared in Australia's Sunday Times (Perth) to comment on the transformation of William Street due to Jamie's Italian restaurant now there.

This was really embarrassing because it means I now have to humble-brag everywhere I go.

Here's some of the content I gave to Gail Williams, the reporter:


"Because Jamie Oliver represents divinity in food design, deserving local product is brought to nose-to-nose with the enormous design economy that Jamie Oliver represents - such as the artwork of Kyle Hughes-Odgers, which is in the restaurant and the surrounding precinct."

"Jamie's Italian contributes to the after 5 foot traffic profile in William Street." 

"The City of Perth Economic Development Strategy 2010-2019 has an outcome of '15% growth in foot traffic in William Street from 2009-2014, to 7,894 people per summer weekday' (page 11)." 

"We measure foot traffic in 9 Perth locations (not William Street), but can confirm that this footfall target appears to have been met"


How do I really feel about it?

I've never eaten at Jamies Italian - never eaten at Italian restaurants at all*

I can cook tomatos - I can't roll sushi.

The best thing about William Street design is not the retailers at the moment, it's the shopfronts and pedestrian realm.

Jamie's could well have been an independent restaurant, which would have been better.

And the steel chairs out the front are not good. Go wood. Steel is cold on your appendix.

We don't have to pretend that super-tenants revitalise our streets.

But without their cash, landlords cannot proceed, usually.

Unfortunately, Jamie's does not get a good reviews on Urbanspoon, hence my sour ending.  Jamie's Italian on Urbanspoon

You could say the people are disappointed.

*Except for Capri - but you go there to see a Nonna in her slippers.

Below: An example of an after-5 peak in foot-traffic.

Average hourly footfall for each day of the week in Albany Highway, East Victoria Park, Australia.



The Secret To A Sense Of Place


There's a blog called Freo's View and it's jolly good.

There's an interesting dialogue going on over there about Place Management.

Diana Ryan asks whether all our places are going to end up looking the same.

This is my take on it.


Place management is about fostering assets.

Assets should be distinct. It's part of what makes an asset.

Place managers should be facilitating local assets for regional sustainability and local distinctiveness.

Local governments are recognising this in part, but too often just book marketing ads, run a festival or knit a bootie on to a tree.

A good place manager must be able to create a competitive community, and the local distinctiveness (born from its assets - people - locally) is critical for this.

The fundamental legacy of place management should be that local peopel (assets) have a community which self-develops as part of its day-to-day doings.

Because reinvention is necessary for vitality and competitiveness.

It's culture, really.

It's a different issue whether a local person or an interstate consultant can provide this best.

This is where the web of industry and communities wrap themselves up in conflict and contradiction.

No consultant probably believes he isn't completely necessary but should not be paid to help.

See? Web.

The answer I think is a sustainable system of self-development where extra, professional staff are less necessary.

Many cities have this: they are special area rate organisations who have a staff member to do their bidding.

But these are badly run sometimes so the outcomes are not there or not good enough.

Place management has a long way to go. The journey's exciting.

But hopefully, we're all unnecessary anyway.

A good place manager must understand how private property, the attraction of businesses, retail uses and business management affect community participation.

Must also tie bootie to tree.

Above: Le Bon Cake Shop, 93 Acland Street, St Kilda, Australia  Le Bon Continental Cake Shop on Urbanspoon


Below: The Imp, 863 Albany Highway East Victoria Park  The Imp on Urbanspoon

Tiny Tables are not just to get more bums on seats.

It is to engineer more incidental contact between strangers.

That is an essential service we come to coffee shops for - as much as the black stuff in the cup.

No, perhaps this is better.

Below: The always-supporting-your-community state-government Department of Housing 24-hr shopfront.

No mosquitoes can get in.

269 Albany Highway, Victoria Park.

An Analysis Of Hourly Footfall Trends In January 2014, In Fremantle

An analysis of hourly footfall trends in January 2014 across Fremantle's four counters.

It shows different volumes (line heights) and hourly changes throughout the day (the shape of the lumps).

Each line represents a different counter. The blue one is the biggest and busiest - South Terrace (averages about 345,000 people per month, so far).


*           *           *

Below shows us the average daily footfall for for the last four months, for each counter.

Remember: The counters count 24/7, 365.

South Terrace had a moody January. Why? January: people away for holidays. South Terrace is more a leisure-area.

High Street West End is University Street. Notre Dame students affect the footfall at this location. The variations after October are affected by university holidays.

Market Street and Adelaide Street have the most reliable January. Market Street is used by Train Station customers, and Adelaide Street is in the middle of the banking and bustop areas.

Adelaide Street had the most impressive response to December.

The daily footfall in Adelaide Street is remarkably favourable to the retailer's clock - it rises and falls with the opening hours of general retail. See below:

Average hourly footfall in Adelaide Street Fremantle as seen across the seven days of the week 

To see what I mean, look at this one, in East Victoria Park's mainstreet.

This is Adelaide Street.

Thank you. 

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

There's Been a Major Disturbance in The Force

Ewww..! There's been a major disturbance in the force at East Vic Park.

Just look at this chart. Look at it!

I don't have time for this! What I like is predictable and even behaviour.

Look at Sunday, 24 November. Why on heck was there 4,008 pedestrian movements?

This is way above the average for all other Sundays. Why? What's going on there? Was there a fault with my equipment?

Look at the whole month again, scrambled so the footfall of each day of the week is bundled together:

This is 101% more than the usual Sunday average of 1,991.

But don't worry, I think I've worked it out. This counter is too close to Baskin Robbins, an ice-cream shop. As our Summer bleeds-in, we are getting huge, Sunday, ice-cream traffic. Problem? No.

Yes. We need counters that are representative of the community-activity good for all businesses in the street. Solution? This counter could be re-located further toward the centre of the precinct where specialised business aren't dictating the trends for the whole counter.

By why should we? It's not Baskin Robbins fault they provide a delicious pick-me-up to so many people. And this data is representative of people on the street. So deal with it.

In fact, I think this huge, fat Sunday is representative of a change we won't see at our other counters - and that is because of ice-cream, because of Baskin Robbins, and because of what they can attract.

We will see foot traffic heft upwards here.

The stinking heat at other locations is keeping foot traffic stable, despite the 'holiday season', merry weather and all that.

So, let's look and see, shall we? 

Another Reason Why I'm Completely Wrong. Probably.

Here's a juicy chart from our East Victoria Park counter at Blockbuster Video (installed with the Town of Victoria Park in July 2013).

I love it. It's sweet. It's really peculiar, I'd say, that two subsequent months have nearly identical counting numbers, 57410 and 57401 (October and November).

But I'm wrong.

The foot traffic is not the same at all.

You see, November had one less day than October.

Come on, check out our Daily Average chart for a better comparison.

There's been a lift in footfall from October to November - the daily average footfall has risen 3.29%. That's 61 extra people per day, on average.

The Daily Average. Stick to it - because it is a simple and accurate record of community and customer activity.

Mainstreet Rejuventation Through Innnovative Management

I am proud to say I have been working with Arthur Kyron and Ben Rose of the Town of Victoria Park in their programs to rejuventate their mainstreets.

A Beautiful City people counting systems are now in East Victoria Park and Victoria Park - two locations penetrated by the enormous and fantastic Albany Highway mainstreet.

The below quote is supplied by the town's Strategic Projects Consultant, Mr Ben Rose:

"How do you measure the health of a mainstreet?  Vibrancy and activity are often used as subjective measures, but how do we put objectivity and robust conclusions into those often subjective observations?

Physically counting the number of people using the space, at any given point in time, and over time, gives us (the mainstreet administrators) the best available information for making important decisions relating to the mainstreet.

Are visitation rates up, are they down, how do they compare to this time last year, what are the annual trends like, what is the busiest day of the week, busiest hour of the day?.....all of these questions can be answered through people counting.  The Town of Victoria Park invested in two people counters in 2012-13 and will be looking to extend its network of data-gathering with more units in 2013-14, thereby enabling better informed decisions for the continued revjuvenation and activation of the Albany Highway mainstreet."

Below: Another stunning piece of public art improving the town centre of East Victoria Park.

For more information on A Beautiful City's people counting system for mainstreets, please visit our people counting page or our people counting articles.

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.

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

More People Counters For Perth

I am pleased to announce that the Town of Victoria Park has committed to two people-counters for their interesting and vibrant communities on Albany Highway Vic Park and East Vic Park.