The Value Mapping project was commissioned by CABE in late 2005 and was managed by the Young Foundation, drawing on a team with experience of research and practice.
The project was commissioned in order to better capture less tangible things that people value from places – specifically new buildings. This would look at aspects of the built urban environment for which markets (and therefore hard monetary values) do not exist. The aim would be to ensure these values receive greater prominence in future decisions on proposed developments. This would bring decision-making that inspired more confidence and ensure that public values would receive greater prominence in relation to the more easily calculable private ones.
It should be stressed that, at no stage, was ‘good design’ equated, by CABE or the project team with ‘what the public want’. The aim was instead to look for valuation exercises that establish dialogue with the public – professionals would make the lay participants aware of technical issues and the public would make professionals aware of their needs.