Evaluation activities have their origin in ideas of social reform in Victorian England and became an important feed-back procedure in support of organizational learning in public Service organizations. They had a holistic responsibility and combined the roles of being clients, providers and administrators of public Service, for example, in sectors of health, education and housing. In the 1960s routines for systematic evaluations of building performances were introduced and in the 1970s users’ assessments were given more attention. Methods for Post-Occupancy Evaluations (POE) of buildings in the phase of usage developed during the 1970s and 1980s.In the 1990s a paradigmatic change took place, again originating from England. During Thatcher’s reign became public Service organizations divided and, to a large extent, transmitted to the private sector. New markets were created and the roles of clients, providers and managers divided between different actors. The building sector was de-regulated and the governance-by-rules model was replaced by a governance-by-goals model. As a consequence the main aim of evaluations changed from “learning from what had been done” to measurement of goal achievement. Holistic evaluations were replaced by goal-achievement analyses.This development was paralleled in Sweden. The welfare state invested in professional knowledge and specialization — a competent bureaucracy was established. In the post-welfare state providers of public Service are to a great extent to be found in the private sector. Quality control has partly been left to the providers themselves and their own quality assurance systems, but there is also a need to follow up on the formulated goals from a governmental perspective. There is still a need for control and this calls for the development of an arsenal of instruments of control.In the Swedish welfare state provision of housing was very much in the hands of the state and municipal housing companies. They were building, owning and managing their housing stock. In the post-welfare state private developers play a more dominant role and they provide dwellings for sale on a market. Their interest has shifted from POE:s to stated preference investigations with the purpose to identify economically strong groups of buyers and provide what they want buy. POE’s does not play the same important role in organizational learning as before, instead we have different tools for verification based on the principles of economical auditing.What architects and planners actually know is embedded in what they do. The environmental design professions could be expected to have an interest in developing the routines of conducting systematic POE’s in order to develop a more evidence based practice. Maybe we will see a revival of POE’s driven from within the professions.