Building a Strong Place Identity
A positive sense of place is intertwined with how confident, welcoming and optimistic a town is. This often feeds directly into cohesion and community resilience, and into residents’ attitudes to change and difference.
Our previous research has found this – that towns with fewer heritage assets, or a foggier historical identity, tend to be less resilient communities. Telling a clear story about where a town has come from and where it is going, rooted in its existing assets and environment while also forward-looking and inclusive, is crucial to combatting the sense of alienation and decline that the far right use to get a foothold in our communities.
So how do you create inclusive narratives? And how do you take this beyond branding and image, so that place identity carries genuine meaning and is robust in the face of those promoting division?