What are place values?

People function with both a unique biological fingerprint and shared characteristics, like a heartbeat. Similarly, places have unique values specific to the locality (unique values) and shared attributes that distinguish a meaningful place from an empty space (common values). The characteristics that describe the importance of a space are known as place values.

We refer to these common values as the heartbeats of place. While conducting this project, we asked our workshop participants. What are those things that every place should have to make it beat? We came armed with a total of 94 cards reflecting values or attributes of place that we extracted from various research projects and evaluation frameworks for urban spaces including The Lovability Index and the Thriving Cities Indicator, the 14 patterns for biophilic design and various wellbeing tools amongst many others. Terms were simplified to one word or short phrase and the resulting cards were used as prompts to lead the value discussion.

During the pilot workshop, we were able to connect with 98 experts who gave us their opinion. Collectively, the list of values and attributes grew to 135 in an iterative process. If you would like to learn more about this research, please download the workshop reports.

We are now working on the next iteration of this set of value cards. What are your thoughts? What makes the heartbeat of your places?

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