Place Evaluation: Measuring What Matters by Prioritising Relationships
Placemaking is well documented for its role in fostering place attachment in increasingly dense, diverse and mobile communities, thus leading to positive impacts on health, community participation, civic behaviour and perceptions of safety. However, many projects can fail to achieve long-term benefits. This chapter explores the existing strategies to evaluate place from a socio-ecological perspective and encourages the practitioners to move beyond easily measurable attributes and economic evaluations and incorporate strategies to assess the intangible benefits of place. Given that placemaking aims to trigger an emotional connection between the individual and the place, this chapter will argue that a place evaluation process should assess the relationships developed between the stakeholders and place. Starting from the [human and non-human] community values of place, it proposes the Four Dimensions of Place Framework (FDP) as a strategy to identify key relationships that place processes need to support between the individual (self), the community, the natural environment and the human-made environment in which it is located. If place processes manage to enhance relationships across these four dimensions, the place is successful. Lastly, this chapter uses a case study to illustrate the FDP: The Living Pavilion (1–17 May 2019), a temporary event space and placemaking project at the University of Melbourne. By developing the evaluation strategy for this case study, we show how the FDP can be applied to your projects and that it successfully provides a way to verify if the evaluation process is taking a holistic approach to place assessment.
KeywordsRating tools Place values Reflective processes
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