The first phase of developing a place-based approach involves assessing community readiness and scope, mapping the community, and starting initial engagement with key stakeholders. This phase also involves making a decision about whether the community is ready and willing to support a place-based approach.
Growing your understanding of the community, and making initial connections with key stakeholders, needs to take place before the next phases in which a community is brought together to create a vision, look at systemic barriers, and create a plan for change.
The activities in growing understanding of place tend to occur simultaneously. Often you cannot start to engage with key stakeholders until you have started to research who is working in place, but you also will not be able to fully map a community’s assets without talking to key stakeholders. Understanding is also not finite or time-limited, meaning that understanding will continue to grow over the life of the place-based approach. It is nevertheless useful to pause and collect as much information as possible before deciding to continue with the approach.