Map assets in your community

Mapping a community’s assets is an important means of identifying local strengths and opportunities. It helps us to develop a positive mindset about the future – not to be trapped by past patterns or present challenges. By seeing what assets we have, it encourages us to think about opportunities for the future. What do we already have? What are we capable of? Where do we want to go from here?

Community asset mapping is easy to do. It requires no technical expertise or tools. It is free and it can be done together with other people.

Determine what a ‘community asset’ means to your community

A community asset is a local building or piece of land which the community considers to be of particular value to the local community. Each community is free to decide for itself what it values.

We think there are three main reasons why something might be considered a community asset:

  • it might be the building or land itself (e.g. an historic or iconic local building)
  • it might be the activities or service which are delivered from a space or building (e.g. a library service)
  • it might be the future potential of a site – what it could become

Places of value – ‘we particularly value this place and what it means for us’

  • Cultural or sporting or leisure spaces – museums, theatres, sports centres, play spaces
  • Community spaces – community centres, community offices, resource centres, village halls, faith buildings
  • Local democratic spaces – town halls
  • Green spaces – village greens, nature reserves, parks, sports fields
  • Landmark buildings – buildings with particular heritage or architectural merit

These are only suggestions. A place might fall into more than one category.

Places of opportunity – ‘this site could be used for so much more…’

Sometimes we need to use our imagination. What does the local community want its local area to be like? Are there opportunities to create new places or services? Is there anything important missing or in short supply?

Opportunity sites might be:

  • Derelict or currently unused
  • In use, but in need of refurbishment
  • Previously undeveloped
  • Only temporarily out of use

Potential uses include:

  • New housing
  • New employment
  • Small-scale energy generation (e.g. wind turbine)
  • New community spaces
  • Public or retail services
  • Meanwhile’ or temporary uses

Services or activities of value – ‘we particularly value this service/activity and what it does for us’

We might value these services even if we are not so bothered about which building they are located in.

  • Public services – such as libraries, health centres, schools, children’s centres
  • Retail or commercial services – such as the post office, village shop or pub.

Get mapping!

Read these articles about mapping assets in your community: