VALUE+ project

Helping people design their own cities

The challenge

Cities in North-West Europe are facing the challenges of a growing, ageing and more diverse population, particularly in deprived areas. Some have experienced industrial decline and its impact on the urban environment, however these issues cannot be addressed by using entirely local or bottom-up approaches.

There is a need to establish strong and effective participatory processes that reach out to all citizens, particularly those in the hard-to-reach categories.

The project in brief

The VALUE Added project, or VALUE+, aimed to reverse these declines through increased local involvement in strategic planning. With a goal to improve social cohesion and economic performance, VALUE+ piloted ways to combine urban planning with citizen involvement.

VALUE+ developed advanced participation processes and new interactive visualisation tools to help engage local communities. These included creating social media platforms to build capacity and improve communications, and enabling networking and supporting cooperation. The project engaged cross-sector partnerships in developing green growth strategies, supported by a new GIS spatial analysis tool and decision-support technologies.

The project engaged cross-sector partnerships in developing green growth strategies.

The impact

The project partners helped create partnerships for each of its demonstration sites that brought together community members, local authorities and representatives of other cross-sector organisations. Together they implemented changes and modified plans according to the results of integrative models operating across different scales. Through these partnerships, Value + successfully integrated local engagement with strategic planning.

The VALUE + participatory approach was used at six sites across four countries. One example of these was situated in the Stuttgart region, along the Fils Valley. Local authorities were planning an industrial heritage route to promote the region’s remarkable history. Through VALUE+, the local authorities designed and built the route using participation and visualisation tools.

Besides Stuttgart, the project approach was used in Liège, Menen and Zeebrugge in Belgium, Amesrfoort in the Netherlands, and Manchester and Sheffield in the UK. Green Cycle routes, highway design, public and community spaces, and urban master plans were all enhanced using the VALUE+ approach.


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