Asset mapping handbook

One of the great things about teaching at Uni, is that students sometimes come up with resources I haven’t seen. Thanks to Nicole who found this great resource on asset mapping.

It outlines three approaches to asset mapping and provides a group process for each approach. The three approaches are:

The Whole Assets Approach takes into account all the assets that are part of people’s view of their immediate community as well as the surrounding rural world. It is a systematic and balanced way to assess all the community assets from natural, social, economic, and service components of the community system. Because communities are not islands unto themselves, it means going outside the community to see what is important about the surrounding and interconnected areas. Whole asset mapping is comprehensive and although it takes longer, can provide a complete map of the community and its support system.

The Storytelling Approach produces pieces of social history that reveal assets in the community. It identifies how assets that are often hidden or dormant can be put together with other assets to produce additional assets. Often a story will be about human capacity and the people who made it happen – people with vision, a mission, leadership, energy, and community interests at heart. These stories generally have a happy ending.

The Heritage Approach produces a picture (map or list) of those physical features, natural or built, that make the community a special place. Assets include natural heritage features such as rivers, sugarbush, park or beach, as well as built features such as an old bridge, defunct steamboat, historic building, a long-time favorite coffee shop. Almost anything on the landscape can be part of a community’s heritage, if the people who live and work there feel it is significant to them. (p. 9).

I don’t know why these types of resources don’t include a date or publisher. One source suggests it is 2001, but as the handbook was for a 2002 conference and there are some figures in the handbook dated 2002, I suspect it should be 2002. It isn’t clear who produced the report either.

It is worth a look.

Reference Fuller, T., Guy, D., & Pletsch, C. (n.d.). Asset Mapping:A handbook. Retrieved 20 June 2011, from

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, environmentalist, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace, sustainability.
This entry was posted in Strengths-based approaches & ABCD and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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