This article concludes the special issue – (Re)appraising place-based economic development strategies – by weaving together some of the key strands explored, debated and examined by each contribution. The place-based meta-approach is far from an uncontested concept. It may be more accurately understood (and more efficiently practised) as an innumerable range of place-based economic strategies – each one connected by some common attributes, which could form an ideal-typical place-based policy model, although each approach to place-based development is likely to be contextually distinct. Actualising a place-based mode of thinking shapes how places are understood, conceptualised and codified, which can have significant implications for the formulation of policy and the implementation of development initiatives. The article also identifies some of the most pertinent research gaps, as we conclude by exploring potential future directions as part of the ongoing search for solutions to addressing uneven patterns of development. In many ways, the search has only just begun. Theories and philosophical presuppositions will be challenged, concepts will be deconstructed and reconstructed, machineries of governance will be remodelled, policies will be recast and practice will be recalibrated. Consequently, a continued (re)appraisal of place-based endeavours will be necessary if we are to achieve a qualitative improvement in the present situation marked by an unequal and unsustainable global society.