Emotion of a Place

  • Insights
Jeff Pollak, Managing Principal

Have you ever visited a place that left a lasting impression on you? Maybe it was a small pocket park between two very active buildings that offered a place for respite, a cozy café where you really connected with the friendly staff, or a city square with bustling energy and contestant activation. On the other hand, perhaps you’ve been to places that just didn’t resonate with you, even if they were objectively well-designed or popular. So, what makes some places more emotionally compelling than others?


Most people would simply answer that question with – ‘better design’. However, design alone is not enough to create an emotionally compelling place. By understanding the consumer, their patterns, needs and desires, you can establish the underpinnings of a strategy that informs design and can make a place emotionally connect with the end user. Places need layered touchpoints that attract, inform, surprise and delight every step of the way. Places are brands so you must approach a place not as bricks and mortar but as the invisible handshake a place has with its end user.


“Crafting extraordinary spaces involves offering diverse experiences that cater to the unique needs of individuals, enticing them to visit for one reason and linger for another. It’s like orchestrating a symphony of diverse activities that harmonize and interweave seamlessly throughout the day and week, creating a captivating ecosystem.” – Jeff Pollak, Chair of Streetsense’s Place Consulting practice group.


By understanding what makes a place meaningful to its users and designing touchpoints that surprise and delight, places can become more than just physical environments – they can become brands that people emotionally connect with on a personal level.

The Place Consulting team works to identify, analyze, and solve real estate and place-based challenges from the perspectives of key stakeholders in the real estate ecosystem, including investors, property owners, tenants, and consumers. We take pride in our award-winning diagnostic methodology, one that begins with uncompromising research: identifying unmet potential and diagnosing the hurdles in the way to meeting it. Our diagnostic ensures we have defined and fully understood the challenges, while also educating our clients and setting us up for highly executable solutions and recommendations that support return on investment— however it is measured.


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