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Place standard: How good is our place?

This resource is available in English only.

The Place Standard Tool is a planning tool from NHS Scotland that supports organizations, businesses and citizens to work together to identify assets and opportunities for improvement in communities. It considers the relationship between place development, well-being and health inequities, asking whether the development has a positive, negative or neutral effect on social, physical and cultural well-being of a community.

This tool can be applied to places that are already established, experiencing change or are in the early stages of being planned and developed. The tool provides a framework for facilitating community engagement, providing prompts for discussion to consider the physical and social aspects of place-based planning.

Rating the quality of spaces

The tool can be completed as an individual or on behalf of a collaborative process both online or on paper. A series of 14 questions (complemented by prompts) guide the user to rate the quality of place-based aspects such as transportation, active and natural spaces, facilities, structures, and social inclusion. Ratings are plotted on a diagram, resulting in a visual representation of where a place is “performing well” and where improvements are needed.

When completed, the discussion moves to agreeing on priority areas and actions to improve social and physical conditions of the place being discussed.


The website provides a detailed guide outlining purpose, audiences, contexts of use and types of places for which the tool can be used. In addition, there is a description of practical applications of the tool, such as materials, timing and other steps for implementation as part of groups, surveys and workshops.

Currently applied across municipalities in Scotland and in 11 European countries, the tool is transferable to other communities and relates to broader strategic directions including Health 2020 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Use this resource to

  • involve community citizens directly in healthy physical and social environment planning;
  • facilitate collaborative discussion among stakeholders at multiple levels about priorities for physical and social environments;
  • assess strengths and opportunities in places where people live as a way to bring divergent views together; and
  • develop a plan for advocacy efforts to improve social and physical environments in places where people live.


NHS Scotland. (2015). Place Standard: How Good Is Our Place? Retrieved from:

Related resources

Tags: Assess and report, Community engagement, Healthy public policy, Link

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