Determining and representing value in creative placemaking

Josephine Vaughan*, Kim Maund, Thayaparan Gajendran, Justine Lloyd, Cathy Smith, Michael Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aims to address the research gap about value in the holistic discourse of creative placemaking. It identifies and synthesises the often discounted social and environmental values of creative placemaking along with typically emphasised economic values.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper builds upon two research phases; first, a review and extraction of creative placemaking value indicators from relevant current urban, cultural and planning literature; and second, the identification of relevant, practice-based, value indicators through interviews with 23 placemaking experts including practitioners, urban planners, developers and place managers from the two largest cities of NSW, Australia; Sydney and Newcastle.

Findings: This study identifies three broad thematics for valuing creative placemaking along with several sub-categories of qualitative and quantitative indicators. These indicators reveal the holistic value of creative placemaking for its key stakeholders, including expert placemakers, designers, building developers, government and community groups. A key conclusion of the research is the need for tools that grasp the interconnected, and at times conflicting, nature of placemaking’s social, economic and environmental outcomes.

Originality/value: While a variety of value indicators exist to understand the need for ongoing resourcing of creative placemaking, stakeholders identified the limitations of current approaches to determine, represent and appraise the value of creative placemaking. The indicators of value proposed in this research consolidate and extend current discourse about the value of creative placemaking specifically. The indicators themselves have profound practical implications for how creative placemaking is conceived, executed and evaluated. Theoretically, the study builds on the deep relationships between values and practice in creative placemaking, as well as critiquing narrow forms of evaluation that entrench economic benefits over other outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-445
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Place Management and Development
Issue number4
Early online date4 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2021


  • Creative placemaking
  • Economic value of placemaking
  • Environmental value of placemaking
  • Placemaking
  • Placemaking indicators
  • Placemaking value
  • Social value of placemaking


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