Talking about the power of context to change health and development was intended to encourage the network to invest in place, to explain one of the mechanisms by which place creates change.

But for some in the room it seemed to have the opposite effect. ‘Does place mean anything you want it to mean?’.

One of our member, John Hitchin, who has a long track record of using place as a focus for change, offered some reasons to be hopeful.

I am attaching here two pieces of his that will help us get clear on the concept. First is his essay You Can’t Get There from Here. And the second is a blog Place based versus Place informed. (There are other good things to be found at

At the meeting he described one part of the writing, the five type of activity people refer to when they talk about place:

  • Regeneration
  • Devolution
  • Targeting
  • Community power
  • Systems and ecologies.

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