Valuing Urban Realm ? Business Cases in Public Spaces

Valuing Urban Realm ? Business Cases in Public Spaces


R Sheldon, Accent, UK; P Buchanan, Colin Buchanan & Partners, UK; D Ubaka, Transport for London, UK


This talk describes a research exercise undertaken for TfL into how users value improvements to the public realm. The study built on work originally undertaken by CBp and subsequently extended by Accent with CBp in preparing innovative SP research


The talk will take the audience thorough the background to the project, how the surveys were designed and implemented, the findings of the stated preference research and how these findings were applied.

The results can assist in three key ways.
1. generating funding for public realm improvement projects
2. prioritising between competing projects
3. ensuring that schemes are designed with the user in mind

The Strategic Walks Network is an initiative designed to encourage walking in London by both addressing the traditional deterrents to walking such as bad street lighting, poor signage and to demonstrate best practise in footway management. Essentially, there are six core paths, totalling 533 km in length, that interlink and provide walking routes across all 33 London Boroughs. As the name would suggest, the walks have been strategically mapped to provide walkers with rural trails around the edge of London as well as routes past some of the Capital?s most popular landmarks and tourist attractions. It is the Mayor of London?s intention to make London the Walking Capital of Europe by 2015 and to show the merits of implementing a strategic pathway policy to other major cities in the UK and throughout Europe.

The challenge was to produce valuations of user benefits for quality improvements to the pedestrian environment. To that end the joint Accent / Colin Buchanan team undertook a major stated preference exercise, which was strongly guided by a thorough programme of focus groups. 700 interviews were carried out with users on three of the routes. Respondents were recruited and interviewed on route in order to gain views from regular users of the pathways who would be familiar with the improvements and therefore be able to comment on the perceived benefits. Follow-up stated preference interviews were also conducted by telephone.


Association for European Transport