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Valuation of public spaces for urban transitions

Public space should be accessible to all, and support a transition to sustainable lifestyles and business communities. However, in practice, prioritizations always need to be made. This project wants to generate knowledge on how actors in public space design in practice go about evaluating different designs, and how they can become better at it.


When a public place is to be developed or retrofitted, different ways of designing and programming the site need to be evaluated and weighed against each other. The type of activities that make up such a process, such as financial calculations, investigations, stakeholder dialogues, architectural competitions, procurements and political decisions, are permeated by value judgments. However, these values are generally unspoken and taken for granted. This is despite the fact that in practice they have an impact on what public places we get and how they function.

Aim and contributions

The aim of the project Valuation of public spaces for urban transitions is to generate knowledge on how how valuations are articulated in the design of public spaces and how these govern processes and outcomes.

Generating knowledge about the activities, methods and technologies of valuation that are employed in public space design is important as the choice of such in practice has an impact on which public places we get. If we want more well-functioning public places that support a transition to more sustainable and healthy lifestyles as well as to more robust business communities, it is important that the practices and technologies of valuation which are employed help rather than hinder such a development.

This project therefore wants to generate knowledge, tools and technologies that can help actors design processes and places that support such transitions. The project also wants to contribute to ongoing academic debates and knowledge developments in the field.

Project activities

The project is made up of three parts:

1) A review of current research in relevant fields and disciplines;

2) A case study focused on the retrofitting of the Brunnsparken square in the city of Gothenburg, Sweden. Here, empirical data will be collected based on interviews, document studies, media studies and spatial analysis;

3) Compilation of resarch results in the form of I) scientific articles that will be a part of one of the project participants' PhD thesises and II) a report aimed at, and produced in dialogue with, actors in the industry, especially those whom have participated in the retrofitting of Brunnsparken.


Project name

Valuation of public spaces




Västra Götaland Region

RISE role in project

Project leader, researcher

Project start


17 months


Chalmers Tekniska Högskola


RISE, Chalmers University of Technology

Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

3. Good health and well-being
5. Gender equality
10. Reduced inequalities
11. Sustainable cities and communities
Stefan Molnar

Contact person

Stefan Molnar


+46 70 538 59 78

Read more about Stefan

Contact Stefan
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