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Delivering insights through typologies of place

The use of place typologies in government policy has been actively promoted by CLG and its predecessor departments for nearly thirty years, with the development of the Index of Local Conditions (later the Index of Local Deprivation and Index of Multiple Deprivation) in 1981. The department has made active use of these indices in targeting interventions, such as its Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, and in evaluating performance and progress, for example in comparing the performance of NDC areas with other areas of similar deprivation.

Over the last ten years, CLG has also taken the lead in the development of much better data about small areas, and there are now a wide range of neighbourhood indicators avaialable. Largely because of this work, spatial analysis is now much more common than it was, as is the recognition that it is important to know not only which actual places display certain characteristics or trajectories, but which types of places. Knowing this means that similar places can be compared against each other when performance is assessed and when decisions are being made about the need for and likely impact of policy interventions. 

The research will first investigate the current and potential uses of spatial typologies by policy analysts in CLG and other government departments, looking at the strengths and limitation of existing commercial and public typologies. The second part of the project will demonstrate the use of different techniques for the creation of typologies, such as cluster analysis, multilevel modelling and principal components analysis, by creating two policy-specific classifications. The final toolkit will provide a basis for CLG to modify existing classifications and create novel ones to support the development, targeting and evaluation of policy.

CCHPR Contact


Department for Communities and Local Government

Project Start Date

1st February 2010