Purpose – Amersfoort Local Municipality implemented the workbench spatial quality method (referred to as workbench method) to enhance participation in green-planning processes. Design/methodology/approach – As part of the Valuing Attractive Landscapes in the Urban Economy project (made possible by INTERREG IVB North West Europe, European Regional Development Fund, European Territorial Cooperation, 2007-2013), the method was evaluated based on its contribution to three core issues: understanding the value of green spaces; identifying these values; and planning for the enhancement of thereof. Findings – Based on case studies conducted in Amersfoort, The Netherlands, this interactive method invites people to think about the use and experience values of spatial aspects and rate them according to importance and vulnerability. The method focuses on participatory planning and quality identification. Research limitations/implications – Assessment of the value of green space will differ between users, experts and between locations. Practical implications – Meaningful participation processes enhance the sustainability and feasibility of urban development projects, as it captures the real use values and enhances green-planning initiatives. Social implications – The workbench method is a communication tool that enhances social perspectives, social responsibility and awareness of values. Originality/value – The workbench method stresses the need for participatory processes and the added value that these processes can have on urban development and future green-planning initiatives. It furthermore identifies adequate ways of approaching participation to ensure successful implementation thereof. The workbench method report 2009 as compiled by the University of Applied Sciences Van Hall Larenstein contains all details and data of the study evaluating the workbench method in terms of stakeholder identification and level of involvement of these stakeholders.