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New research article by Judit Keller & Tünde Virág is available online in European Planning Studies

Published online: 19 May 2021

A drop in the sea or catalyst for change:
diverse effects of the place-based approach in Europe

                                                          Judit Keller & Tünde Virág



The place-based approach has been the guiding principle of EU policies for a decade. Building on the idea that place matters, the place-based narrative aims to promote local development and spatial justice through the utilization of local potentials and deliberative policy decisions. Institutional capacity for place-based action requires good quality governance and place leadership with transformative capacities. The domestic institutional environment can provide frames for the governance of local development by fostering local agency to (re)frame local issues and build coalitions across the horizontal spectrum and vertical scales. By focusing on the institutional processes of three place-based interventions, this comparative research paper maps out the ways domestic conditions can change parameters of place-specific institutional arrangements by influencing local agents’ capacities for coalition-building and deliberation. Based on the selected case studies of the RELOCAL project, we specifically study the evolution of local coalitions, the effects of different actors’ ambitions and commitment to development, and the process of planning and implementation through horizontal and vertical linkages.

Keywords: Place-based intervention, domestic governance, spatial justice, local development, comparative research