Why this matters

The 'Big Picture'

The Thriving Places Index aims to support wide social change, via practical steps, place by place. It is designed to challenge the current paradigm that narrowly defines progress by economic measures of consumption and wealth creation and put more of what matters at the heart of decision making.

A focus on economic growth as an end in itself has delivered neither equitable or sustainable wellbeing. Watch our short animation here. The global economy has doubled in 25 years while carbon emissions have gone up 40%, and 60% of our ecosystem has been degraded. Inequality is reaching such epic proportions that the top 1% now have more money than the bottom 99%. This global trend is repeated at national and local level here in the UK and elsewhere. To get involved in our campaign work visit our main site here.

Wellbeing has emerged as the front-runner in the search for a better way of defining the true prosperity of our communities. Significant progress has been made in the last decade in our understanding of what the key drivers of wellbeing are, and crucially ways to measure them.

We know what counts and NOW we also know how to count it.

Until now there has been no consistent and accessible LOCAL framework that uses local level indicators to measure and inform progress towards supporting the wellbeing of all citizens, now and in the future.

Happy City’s Thriving Places Index is designed to fill this gap. To provide a robust reporting framework for local areas to support decision makers in their work to improve lives on the ground AND to help shift the focus, place by place, towards measuring what matters

Local Action

The Thriving Places Index is also is a practical tool for implementing local policy and action that delivers on wellbeing.

When embedded in local processes, it can be a powerful influence on the shape of local development. By assessing the conditions for thriving communities at a ‘whole-place’ level, different local actors – from civil society, local government, academia and business, to citizens and small community groups – can collaboratively tackle even very entrenched problems. It provides a consistent and comparable way of agreeing, measuring and tracking progress towards shared goals, a ‘common currency’ across and between sectors and geographies. For more information see the aims and objectives section of our report here, or Get Involved here.

For the answers to the most frequently asked questions about all our Measurement work go to our FAQs section here.

Thank you to Triodos Bank for sponsoring the development of this website

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