Gary Steuer, chief cultural officer of Philadelphia, was part of a recent debate over quantifying the value of public art. He says that there is still some question over whether public art has a purely "intrinsic" or "instrumental" value:
"Intrinsic value relates to the aesthetic value of any work of art, its own value as a piece of artistic expression. Instrumental value relates to the ability of art to educate, create jobs, increase real estate value, create citizens, increase tourism, and provide other benefits."
ASLA cites a couple of examples of innovative public art projects in Massachusetts, Brooklyn, San Francisco and New Orleans.