This working paper aims to remove the confusion surrounding what place-based approaches are, the rationales behind their use, the development of this approach to public service reform in Scotland and the future challenges presented by austerity and welfare reform.

Summary

This paper aims to remove the confusion surrounding what place-based approaches are, the rationales behind their use, the development of this approach to public service reform in Scotland and the future challenges presented by austerity and welfare reform.

Key arguments presented in this paper:

  • The rationales driving the emergence of new place-based approaches at the neighbourhood level include:
    • The Civic – in the need for higher quality, more responsive services and for communities to deliver more services for themselves
    • The Joined-up – in the need for improved coordination and more integrated services
    • The Political – in the pressure to devolve more power over resources to front-line staff and the public
    • The Economic – in the idea that innovation through place-based approaches can lead to new preventive measures
      and improved performance
  • As the pressure on community planning partnerships to deliver outcomes increases, place-based approaches are becoming a catchall for a wide range of policy objectives with the risk of overload.
  • Place-based approaches are currently being tested by community planning partnerships as a vehicle for cost cutting, prevention and asset-based community development. These new features of place-based approaches are aspirational,
    rather than approaches that have been fully developed and embedded. They remain a key area of innovation.
  • The complexity of place-based approaches means that there is a risk that local practitioners and policy makers become distracted away from the challenges of austerity and welfare reform. In low-income neighbourhoods, there is a need for the expansion of welfare services to support mental health, realistic assessments of capacity within communities, and the basic provision of neighbourhood services to enable community development.

Download the publication

Rationales for Place-based Approaches in Scotland (PDF)

More details

Authors: Claire Bynner

Publication date: July 2016

Type of publication: Working paper

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