Module 8 – Place evaluation

The place evaluation module explores existing strategies to evaluate place from a socio‐ecological perspective and argues that we need to go beyond the easily measurable attributes of place, and have greater inclusion of the intangible benefits of place. This evaluation needs to be across the aspects that are involved in placemaking at four different levels – input, output, outcome and legacy.

It begins by outlining the need for evaluation as a holistic process that simultaneously targets measurable and intangible elements. Responding to the overarching purpose of place-based processes, it encourages to measure benefits in terms of relationships, understood as emotional connections forged between the self, the community, the natural environment and the built environment. Later on, it provides opportunities to explore existing evaluation frameworks and guidelines and invites the student to critically reflect on the limitations and opportunities from these existing tools. Lastly, it provides a case study ‘The Living Pavilion’ to showcase how a an evaluation can simultaneously target key relationships of place and respond to place-specific values. While this module is focused on the socio-ecological benefits of place, it needs to act simultaneously as economic evaluations. This topic is addressed in Place Economics module.

Objectives of the Module

– Using evaluation as a way for continued place improvement
– Knowledge of the range of tools available to evaluate projects from a ‘place’ perspective. And understanding the limitations from different evaluation approaches.
– Ability to develop a tailored evaluation approach bespoke to the project and community involved incorporating economic, social and ecological components.

Key resources

The materials below are intended to support academics in embracing the materials created to teach the fundamentals of people in place. These should form a basis for you own subject, we suggest customising it with your own case studies and materials. Placemaking is context specific so inserting case studies, images and information from your area will make the content come to life.

Videos (Supporting Material)

For this session, we created a total of 3 videos to support the teaching and key discussions:

Watch the video How are places evaluated (11min) to get insights into how some leading placemaking practitioners currently assess their projects.

Watch the video What is the importance of evaluation to placemaking (4:48min) highlights the need for evaluation strategies and the key uses for evaluation in place.