Why Social Value?

Flora Samuel, Eli Hatleskog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

4 Citations (Scopus)
514 Downloads (Pure)


As societies face impending challenges relating to climate change, densi cation and social upheaval, now is an opportune moment to discuss what we value most and how architects and architecture can play a role in improving people’s lives. If architects are to reverse their current trajectory into the margins of an increasingly ‘lean’ and economically driven construction sector, it is important to respect on the value of architectural design. This issue of 2 explores the meaning and potential of social value as an instrument of change in the built environment.It includes a range of case studies from across the globe of architects who are developing methodologies for creating, measuring and mapping social value, arguably the most intangible and important impact of architectural activity. The first two articles, by Karen Kubey (pp 14–21) and Peter Sattrup (pp 22–9), provide important contextual reviews of the social value scene in the US and Denmark, respectively. The following contributions explore the mapping and measuring of the social value of communities using different methodologies and media that converge on its cultural dimension, and the concluding articles act as a timely reminder that social value is a neoliberal construct that does not necessarily translate to authentic cultures of respect and love.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-13
Number of pages8
JournalArchitectural Design
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020


  • Social Value Act
  • Social Value Toolkit
  • social return on investment


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  • Social Value in Architecture

    Samuel, F. (Guest ed.) & Hatleskog, E. (Guest ed.), 2 Jul 2020, In: Architectural Design. 90, 4, 29 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue (Academic Journal)

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