Valuation of the historic environment: The scope for using economic valuation evidence in the appraisal of heritage-related projects

Allan Provins, David Pearce, Ece Ozdemiroglu, Susana Mourato, Sian Morse-Jones

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37 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we consider the question, 'What is the the scope for using results of economic valuation studies in the appraisal and assessment of heritage-related projects and programmes?' This entails assessing the potential role and scope of 'value transfer', which is an approach to economic valuation that uses results of previous valuation studies (for example, travel cost or stated preference studies) in the appraisal of projects and programmes. A distinct appeal of value transfer is its expediency and value for money properties in relation to commissioning original valuation studies, which can enable greater use of economic values within decision making. Its potential role in the appraisal of heritage assets depends on whether it is deemed a reliable approach to economic valuation, and whether there is a sufficient body of economic valuation literature concerning the heritage sector. Correspondingly, we examine: (i) the applicability of economic valuation to the historic environment; (ii) the basis for value transfer; and (iii) the literature pertaining to the valuation of the historic environment. We also develop a case study, which demonstrates the use of value transfer in a heritage context. Overall there currently appears to be limited scope for value transfer applications in heritage-related appraisal and evaluation exercises. This is in part due to the heterogeneity and complexity of heritage assets. However, a more fundamental constraining factor is the current extent of heritage valuation literature; only 30 valuation studies were identified relating to the historic environment. We recommend that future work focuses on developing a database of valuation studies relating to the heritage sector, and on establishing a broader base of high-quality original heritage-related economic valuation studies. Moreover, where value transfer is applied in an appraisal and evaluation context to heritage assets, much emphasis should be placed on satisfying the criteria for identifying suitable valuation evidence from existing studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-175
Number of pages45
JournalProgress in Planning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2008

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