skip to content

Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research


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 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 preceding ten years, the Department for Communities and Local Government had also taken the lead in the development of much better data about small areas, and a wide range of neighbourhood indicators are available. 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 investigated the current and potential uses of spatial typologies by policy analysts in DCLG and other government departments, looking at the strengths and limitation of existing commercial and public typologies. The second part of the project demonstrated 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 aimed to provide a basis for DCLG to modify existing classifications and to 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