Value Manifestations and Spatial Characteristics: A Framework for Rapid Assessment of Cultural Ecosystem Services

Brian James R. Chiu1,*

Author Affliations

1College of Architecture, The Graduate School, University of Santo Tomas
*[email protected]


Cultural Ecosystem Services (CES) measure is an emerging topic within the wider debate on ecosystem services field and their application in the natural and built environment. Previous research and practice suggest, a highly composite quantitative approach to capture the intangible benefits in urban ecosystems. However, this becomes problematic when eliciting information regarding the abstract concept of CES, particularly, people’s perception and attitude towards this concept. Arguments on capturing CES for assessment highlights the challenges in using traditional measures, dominated by quantitative approaches in investigating the benefits provided by urban ecosystems. Emerging literature in CES calls for socio-spatial approaches from mature disciplines to understand and capture the production of CES. The researcher argue that capturing CES produced by users through their experience via direct interaction with the ecosystem as manifested in space under observation, may provide a rich spatial understanding of the value of the built environment. This paper aims to continue this discussion through a framework showing how spatial features and value manifestations of people’s experience of CES in urban green spaces. This approach can be used as a rapid assessment tool in understanding spatial characteristics’ cultural pathway in the built environment. It is concluded that focusing on value manifestations in ecosystems may provide a direct and rapid accounting of the services that people value in their environment. It also shows that such an approach would enable further understanding of spatial structures, features and compositions important in delivering CES people perceive and experience.