(Dis)connected communities and sustainable place-making

Alex Franklin, T. Marsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
76 Downloads (Pure)


Why, despite a recent surge in the UK in “sustainable communities” policy discourse, do so many community-led sustainability initiatives remain fragmented, marginal and disconnected from local government strategies? How can community- and government-led sustainability initiatives be better integrated such that they add significantly to a denser matrix and cluster of sustainable places? These questions, we argue, lie at the heart of current sustainable place-making debates. With particular reference to two spatial scales of analysis and action, the small town of Stroud, England and the city of Cardiff, Wales, we explore the twin processes of disconnection and connection between community sustainability activists and local state actors. We conclude that whilst there will always remain a need for community groups to protect the freedom which comes from acting independently, for community activists and policy-makers alike, there are nevertheless a series of mutual benefits to be had from co-production. However, in setting out these benefits we also emphasise the dual need for local government to play a much more nuanced, integrative and facilitatory role, in addition to, but separate from, its more traditional regulatory role.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)940-956
JournalLocal Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability
Issue number8
Early online date24 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • sustainable communities
  • connected communities
  • local government
  • sustainability
  • intermediaries

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