This report seeks to explore how an understanding of positive change can be translated into actual value. Previously this has been described (by those marketing developments) primarily in narrative. People’s stories were collected and used as evidence that development had benefited those in and around it. This can be effective, but can also be ad-hoc, promotional and unreliable in the eyes of some local people. Now, the growing discipline of the monetisation of social and environmental change, based on stakeholder accounts, has offered a quantitative alternative to this approach.

The attribution of value through new and emerging methods could allow the societal value of development to be measured, compared and communicated to give a greater understanding and involvement of those who are directly affected by development. The influences on people’s lives can be divided among a number of factors including the opportunity to:

  • Live with a reduction or the absence of crime
  • Improve levels of health
  • Gain education skills
  • Get a job, or to progress to a better job
  • Meet individual human needs
  • Experience more and better open and green spaces and cultural enrichment

All of these influences should have the potential to help people reach their full potential.

The contention of this report is that unless property and development is valued by a combination of both its financial return, and its return to society, it will be difficult to gauge or understand its real value. The consideration of combining financial and societal value as a single sum would provide a more accurate valuation of property and development, but it also offers an evidence-based approach with which to make decisions about the best combination of elements to include in a scheme, or whether to build at all.