Local economies: Place-based approaches to policy implementation

Claire McGrath discusses the progress of economic development policies at the regional and local level in the UK, and how place-based approaches can lead to more equal, bottom-up development that builds social capital, as well as economic growth.

Place based approaches have the potential to revolutionise the way in which policy is delivered by achieving higher impact outcomes often at a lower budget. The importance of place in informing the way in which policy can be most effectively implemented has relevance throughout the diverse policy landscape, but perhaps is most relevant, and has the highest potential impact, in creating and sustaining economic development and building the capacity of civil society. Read More

What places mean to people, and why this is important for health and wellbeing?

Research in health geography is building a significant body of knowledge about how and why places matter for our health and wellbeing. The research links to a wider body of interdisciplinary research on the ‘wider (social) determinants of health’ [1] which include aspects of the natural, built and social environment that are important for our health and wellbeing. These attributes of places act together with other factors that influence our health, such as our individual characteristics and behaviours and the medical care and treatment we receive. Read More

People, Place and Surroundings

In this post, Professor Patsy Healey FBA discusses the complex nature of ‘place’ and how a better understanding of this can support more nuanced place policy. 

In the UK, our public policy inheritance reflects a paradox. On the one hand, our cultural traditions are deeply imbued with a strong sense of place, expressed in our concern for the qualities of our diverse cities, towns and villages, and our varied landscapes. On the other, our government arrangements are dominated by a centrally-driven and sectoral policy organisation. Read More

Welcome to Where We Live Now

Bham occupancyIn this inaugural blog post, Fiona Reynolds and Deborah Lamb discuss the aims and activities of the Where We Live Now project.

Throughout our careers, we have seen first-hand how powerful and meaningful people’s connections to place can be. Their connections to place permeate all aspects of their working, family and social lives, and often have profound connections to wellbeing.

Decisions that affect people’s lives, however, are often rather determinedly disconnected from the places they care about. The ‘scale’ of decision making remains national, sometimes supranational, yet the scale of people’s experience is profoundly local. Read More