Advancing the Thriving Places Index (ESRC Impact Acceleration Account 2022)

This project develops a new partnership with the place-based not-for-profit consultancy, Centre for Thriving Places which sees researchers supporting the delivery of their Thriving Places Index. This is a flagship evidence-based wellbeing measurement tool updated annually which is used by local authorities throughout the UK to inform decision-making based on indicators which measure the local conditions for wellbeing and to ensure they can be shaped fairly and sustainably. It is the most comprehensive and actionable guide to local wellbeing economics available worldwide.

project 1We share with Centre for Thriving Places a place-based approach to imagining, measuring and taking action on wellbeing, and in particular welcome metrics which account for the emergent properties of wellbeing in specific places, a commitment to tackle wellbeing inequalities, and a sense of openness and enquiry about the dynamics of community and individual wellbeing  – how conditions, opportunities and relationships in places and spaces are shaping how people are doing and feeling in their lives.

These measures are essential for driving social and environmental progress, transforming public policies to deliver what matters to people, and developing meaningful forms of public participation and engagement geared up to addressing significant spatial inequalities.  Data-driven approaches also require analysis, interpretation and insight on the ways in which decisions are made, how political dynamics and conflicts arise across and between different places and regions, and require sensitivity to the complex driving forces of social and environmental change acting at different scales.

This new partnership combines the expertise of Centre for Thriving Places in providing place-based leadership, advice, training and accessible resources with the research capacity of the Centre for Urban Wellbeing to conduct rigorous analysis, develop the methodology, ask new research questions of this rich dataset and identify priority research, analytical and data gaps which need to be tackled.

We look forward to working together over the coming months and hope that more organisations and local authorities will benefit from the Index. If you’re a University of Birmingham researcher who is interested in using the Thriving Places Index or exploring this data please get in touch with Jessica Pykett  or Laura Kudrna