Positive Progressive Placemaking in The Most
Complex and Challenging of Times.

Third Life Economics seeks to shape current debates, policy and practice of sub-national development – sometimes nations, more often regions, cities, districts, towns and communities. 

Much of our work is posted publicly to provide a starting point for discussions and decision-making about how places plan and manage disruptive change. This page introduces you to some of our key content.

The  rise of ‘big government’ and a new centralisation through the pandemic and Brexit is now a defining feature facing sub-national and place-based UK leadership teams.

We ‘tell it as it is’ and deliver practical support to those trying to navigate and steer their way through this often inconsistent and bewildering context.

With a significant track record in post-crisis turnaround and recovery management. Third Life Economics  was one of the first practitioners to apply international disaster and crisis management approaches to the post-COVID-19, post-Brexit context in the UK.

Click below for more information on Post-disaster turnaround, build back better AND fairer

The COVID-19 pandemic is a gamechanger for places worldwide. 

Third Life Economics has recently published a suite of papers for the Institute for Economic Development that begins to elaborate how local economic strategy itself needs to change to be fit for purpose in the new global and national context.

Positive Progressive Place-Making

Third Life Economics majors on supporting and enabling great leadership of place. PPP – published May 2020 – is a major handbook of agendas for place-based leadership teams.

It presents insights and lessons from 3LE’s first decade that may be relevant and important for current and future challenges and opportunities. Find and download your copy here.

News and Articles

Latest Podcast

Join me for my regular podcast about local economic development and placemaking. Co-hosted by Mike Spicer of Policy Department, and together with guests, we address the divisive, often unspoken issues facing economic development professionals in 2020s Britain.

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LED Confidential .20

Can inner-city densification and a new urban quarter for Cambridge get England out of its house building funk? Are large public subsidies for battery plants, like the proposed Tata Gigafactory factory in Somerset, the right way to modernise local economies? And what are the barriers to the tech revolution in public service delivery proposed by the Tony Blair Institute? Join David and Mike as they mull over another month in local economic development…