Assets of place

Assets of Place include anything that contributes value to a place (or could do so). They include:

  • Hard assets: Concrete things that make it possible to live, learn, work, play or visit a place – such as amenities (eg park benches, laneways, artworks, rigging points for lighting or projectors), housing choice, locations for study or work, plus infrastructure, gardens, birdlife etc.
  • Soft assets: Intangible things people bring to the table (or could) – such as their networks, knowledge, skills, talents, aspirations, vision, experience, stories, memories, time, financial and other resources.

Existing local assets are brilliant building blocks for community-led projects. Placemaking that focuses on local assets creates a positive narrative around the strengths of the place. It’s an approach that is aligned with Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) and is opposite to needs-based approaches.

Whether or not the potential assets of place remain fragmented or contribute value depends on the levels of connection and trust between the community of place – the social capital. This is why any placemaking efforts should strive to build those hyperlocal connections. It enables the whole to be more than the sum of the parts.