Shifting paradigms: People-centred models, active regional development, space-blind policies and place-based approaches

Bentley, Gill and Pugalis, Lee (2014) Shifting paradigms: People-centred models, active regional development, space-blind policies and place-based approaches. Local Economy, 29 (4-5). pp. 283-294. ISSN 0269-0942

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There is gathering academic and policy momentum, although not without challenge, critique and ferocious debate, that an apparent ‘place-based’ mode of activity has emerged. Such a paradigm shift may in part be explained as a response to the deficiencies of ‘people-centred’ models, active regional development and space-blind policies. This article critically reviews some of the primary literatures relating to these competing, contradictory and also complementary methods of development. The place-based mode of working can be conceptualised as potentially offering the scope, through supportive institutional frameworks and collaborative means of governance, for developing embedded, multi-scalar and multi-annual strategies that are tailored to the complex geographies, capabilities, knowledge-sets, assets and resources of particular places (and networks of places). Whilst appearing to offer a panacea for securing economic growth in a sustainable and socially inclusive manner that releases the potential, creativity and knowledge of local actants, the dominant narrative associated with the place-based approach has not escaped critique and controversy. It is our contention that place-based thinking reflects the continual search for solutions to address territorial, social and economic inequalities and development capacities. Whether it provides a workable policy solution will be contingent on a number of factors, not least spatial context in terms of social, cultural, economic and institutional characteristics. Reflecting the multiplicity of places, place-based approaches, in raising questions about the relationship between scales of operation and institutional structures, are a subset of broader debates and issues concerning not only what works but also where.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: K400 Planning (Urban, Rural and Regional)
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2014 15:54
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 09:50

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