This explanation of taking a strengths based approach comes from Herding Together:

As that video demonstrates all communities have 'assets' or 'strengths' that can contribute positively to people's health and wellbeing.

These might include:

  • Individual strengths: The skills, knowledge, and commitment of individual community members.
  • Collective strengths: Friendships, good neighbours, local groups and community and voluntary associations
  • Social strengths: The resources and facilities within the public, private, charity and not-for-profit sectors
  • Physical strengths: Physical, environmental, and economic resources that enhance wellbeing

Healthy Place Shaping asks what do we already have before asking what do we need. Rather than assessing what is wrong with a place and trying to fix it, it identifies strengths and seeks to build upon them. 

Questions to consider:

How will this create an environment for positive change by identifying [with the community] strengths that can be built upon, rather than issues that must be fixed?

How will this encourage open discussion [with the community] to make the most of existing strengths [assets]; be they physical and social, collective and individual to work together to create innovative solutions?

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