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The policy process is predominantly a sectoral one – policies for education, health, welfare, are largely designed on a national scale to affect change across all regions. Money and resources for policy implementation also flow from Whitehall according to this structure.

However, policy decisions have differential affects on different regions, places and communities. People continue to maintain powerful and meaningful associations to those places, at varying degrees of locality – their county, their town, village, or even their street. Is it possible for our political and policy processes to better take this into account?

Through Where We Live Now, the British Academy will question whether aligning the design and resourcing of policy-making to the scales at which individuals connect to places, irrespective of standard departmental or sectoral divisions, would produce more effective policies and improve people’s lives.