It was Thomas Edison who said – “There’s a way to do something better – find it”.

Innovation is born by looking to enhance the customer’s experience.

I always thought innovation was just about creating new and shiny products to propel us into the future. Take Tesla, iPhones and solar power. But innovation is more than that. It can be finding solutions to property issues that enable projects to succeed, and allows business to prosper and cities to thrive. For example, what do you do when a 44 hectare strip of land in London sitting on top of £50-60 million worth of essential gravel but you cannot get consent to open cast mine? Architect Kevin Carmody found the ultimate innovative solution, create a cavern below. The privately owned land would be transformed into a public park, while excavation was taking place below and upon completion the underground space would sufficiently pay for the up keep of the park and the entire project.

Innovative Open Space Development is becoming paramount with a need for increased infrastructure as populations grow. Cook and Phillip Park in Sydney’s CBD is an example of this, in-between a church and museum they managed to squeeze in a recreation facility that has a 50-metre swimming pool, leisure pool, gym and a multi-functional indoor court that is used for basketball and indoor soccer. Dug into the ground it is not another loaming building or eye sore on the city scape but carefully sculptured to be sympathetic to its heritage listed neighbours.

Based in Napier, I have had a front row seat as the city has sought to find innovative solutions to open space in a bid to ensure its future as a tourism destination through reviving the city’s coastal amenities. The Marine Parade redevelopment includes a playground extension, recreational and water area, junior bike track, skate park, storm water platform, bike track, reef garden and amphitheatre. In addition to the redevelopment of Marine Parade, steps are being taken to redevelop Anderson Park as a ‘destination playground’ aimed at families to provide a family day out.

With the Marine Parade redevelopment nearing completion and the Anderson Park destination playground proposal you can see how innovative solutions to property have truly propelled the city’s reputation as a tourism destination as well as providing the local community with high quality and connected open space.

At TPG our team of Planners, Property Consultants and Development Advisors often work with councils who want to understand the highest and best use of their open space. The question we always ask ourselves is: Is there a better way to do this? You will be surprised how often the answer is yes. Through our combined experience we support councils in designing financially feasible open space development plans that satisfy all stakeholders. And this can’t be done without a little innovation.

By applying collective experience and knowledge, together with modern creativity and technology – innovative solutions to enhance customer experience are evident in many shapes and forms. It is innovation that makes good ideas great, provides opportunities for businesses and cities to thrive and adds value to organisations and their clients.