Place-based initiative

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oooh, orphan A place-based initiative is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of social programmes that reflect the characteristics of a particular location.

Common features

Place-based initiatives are united by the following features:

  • the desire to achieve multiple social outcomes;
  • through a variety of interventions;
  • involving collaboration between several different organisations [1][2]
  • with a degree of community engagement;
  • and a focus on a defined physical area.


Place-based initiatives vary in the:

  • outcomes they try to achieve;
  • social mechanisms they seek to change;
  • method of engagement they seek to deploy.


The term place-based initiative seems to have entered common parlance at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The types of initiative referred to by the term long predated it.


  1. Bellefontaine, T. and Wisener, R. (2011) The Evaluation of Place-Based Approaches, Policy Horizons Canada.
  2. Moore, T.G., McHugh-Dillon, H., Bull, K., Fry, R., Laidlaw, B., & West, S. (2014). The evidence: what we know about place-based approaches to support children’s wellbeing. Parkville, Victoria: Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.