Cities are the places that face the greatest challenge of globalization: improving the quality of life of citizens through innovative and sustainable policies. To achieve this goal, cities must rethink current policy paradigms and recognize the importance of the local context, that is the combination of social, cultural and institutional features within a given urban space. To adopt a place-based approach in defining urban policies means to involve local communities, to use their knowledge, to collaborate with all relevant stakeholders and to promote the inter-institutional cooperation.

This section presents some theoretical and empirical analyses dealing with the place-based approach. They also include various tools to assess territorial needs and to evaluate local policies.