Place-based approach: institutionalising soft space
Since the late 2000’s, the place-based approach has become a crucial policy instrument for some prominent institutions such as the World Bank, the EU Commission and the OECD. It currently represents one of the cornerstones of the current Cohesion policy and will undoubtedly have deep consequences for regional development. While most of the Cohesion programmes are just about to kick off, this contribution will use two angles to shed some light on the significance of this policy approach. First, this approach has deep implications for practitioners at all levels of governance. Horizontally, it implies transcending sectoral approach and administrative boundaries. Vertically, it requires surpassing scales of governance. Second, this contribution will review the consequences of these challenges from a conceptual point of view. In particular, the place-based approach will be analysed against the background of the current debate on territory. These two angles will help concluding on the practical and conceptual contributions of this concept for the EU regional policy.