What is Social Value?

Chris Johnston is a leader in identifying social and community values, and helping to bring those values into heritage assessments and management plans. Chris authored What is Social Value?, which is still regarded as an important guide to assessing the social significance of places.

First published in 1993 by the Australian Heritage Commission, preparation of this paper was supported by the National Trust (Victoria). This paper has long been out of print, so we are happy to offer you rare access to this important resource.

Context has experience identifying social and community-based significance around Australia. In Broken Hill, for example, the values held by Australians and locals for this iconic mining city needed to be considered, while for the Cockatoo Kindergarten the local community’s attachment was literally forged through the horrific experience of the Ash Wednesday fires. For Chris, the challenge is often in finding community-sensitive and cost-effective approaches, and ultimately in being true to the values held by others.

Over more than 20 years Context has assessed social significance in more than 90 projects, delivered conference papers and journal articles, and worked with government agencies to help shape their approach assessing social values.