Chapter 13 in Bailey, D., & Chapain, C. (eds.), The Recession and Beyond: Local and Regional Responses to the Downturn, pp 239-259

This chapter explores the question of how different places react to economic shocks. Increasingly, economic geographers, planners and sociologists have emphasised the importance of ‘place’ in understanding and recommending responses to short-term economic shocks and long-term socio-economic transformation. Consequently, there is a growing consensus within the local and regional economic development literature that ‘one size fits all’ solutions are insufficient to tackle the effects of the recent recession. Instead, ‘place based approaches’ have become the new orthodoxy at different levels, from the local to the European stage (cf. Geographic Information Panel 2008; Clark 2009). In UK policies for local economic development, this has been expressed as follows:

The English economy and society are, in effect, the sum of what happens in different places. And places are the sum of the activities of people and businesses operating within them. The prosperity and cohesion of the nation therefore depends on how England functions as a series of places. The rationale for place-based policies should therefore reflect the holistic nature of place – where a whole range of actors, institutions and relationships come together to promote prosperity or compound poverty.