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Better Places (Social Value) Toolkit – Stage 1 Report

December 23, 2020

By Keith Mitchell, Cara Mulholland and Susan Emmett

Developing a tool that makes it easy to incorporate social value into decision making around the use of land

The Better Places Toolkit is a two-year Knowledge Transfer Project between Stantec and the University of Reading. Its aim is to produce a tool that facilitates the inclusion of social value in decision making about land valuation and acquisition.

By reviewing existing tools and practices we have identified a gap for a spatial, digitally enabled tool for exploring early project social value forecasting. We want to create a tool that uses evidence to disrupt the current decision-making processes in early strategic land development. This can influence how projects are conceptualised from the beginning, potentially influencing timelines of implementation and build design.

In this report we have outlined the findings from Stage 1 of the project. This starts with a wider introduction to the context of the project and high-level summary of the current thought leadership in social value of the built environment. We then present the findings from the desk review research of a longlist of 66 relevant social value, placemaking and engagement tools, which were then refined down to a shortlist of 17 for a deep dive review. The final section poses design decisions to structure the future tool development based on potential user needs, and the stakeholder responses on tool development to be worked on in Stage 2 of the project.

  • Keith Mitchell

    Keith provides strategic advice relating to major infrastructure planning and transport decarbonisation. He has worked on a wide range of national infrastructure and planning projects in the UK, as well as in the European Union and Australia.

    Contact Keith
  • Cara Mulholland

    With her PhD in project management, Cara focuses on improving the built environment by including social value into designs and organization activities. Her work has included social impact planning in several sectors.

    Contact Cara
  • Susan Emmett

    Working in both private and public sectors, Susan is a director of client accounts and growth. Based in our London office, she has over two decades of experience with strategy, market research, and client engagement.

    Contact Susan
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