Intuitively, we all believe that the places we live in, the people we live around, affect our wellbeing. Backing up this intuition with evidence proves a lot harder than you might think. Currently, there are huge gaps in the evidence base about what impact different place-based housing interventions have on our lives. Read More
The Where We Live Now project has been busy over the summer: holding roundtable discussions in Manchester, Truro and Cardiff to discuss place-based solutions to productivity challenges. Now that the final roundtable looking at London is on the horizon later this month, we thought you might want a flavour of what has been discussed so far. Read More
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
Stuart Aitken, Head of Content at DigitasLBi, introduces a new piece of research which demonstrates what social media can tell us about places. ‘Brick Lane in Numbers’ was first presented at the Social media, policy and place event hosted by DigitasLBi, which explored the ways that commercial companies, researchers and policy makers can use social media data to understand interactions with place.
“During the time I spent looking for it, Brick Lane changed for ever” – Rachel Lichtenstein Read More
Making sense of the place in which we live, is complex. It is certainly not simply about fixed, quantifiable, geographical parameters but it is multidimensional and feelings about a place, about its community and what is valued in that place, are highly significant [1,2,3]. Communities will comprise homogeneous and heterogeneous groups,  and so multiple meanings and values will likely be conveyed from amongst the community. Consequently the ability to capture the breadth and depth of local views is warranted and invariably, this will require a highly interdisciplinary approach to make sense of these views. Read More
Changes in landscapes inevitably impact on local communities. Whether they are caused by environmental events, regeneration and conservation initiatives, or development spurred by business, changes to the material fabric of place can disturb the experience of those whose sense of identity and feelings of belonging may be entangled with that place. Through the support of the British Academy’s Rising Star Engagement Award, over the course of 2015 I will be hosting a series of events around Bristol and Bath which aim to foster critical discussion and performative evaluation of landscapes and places under processes of change. Read More
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’  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