People simultaneously experience numerous risk and protective factors reflecting the sum total of natural, built and socio-cultural environmental factors (Lillie-Blanton and LaVeist 1996). We recognize that physical and social environments impact health, grounding risk in the complex mix of physical and social characteristics of places in and of themselves (Kearns 1995; Macintyre 1997), but know little about how different aspects of these environments interact in influencing health. One direction to understand these complex processes is to examine the mechanisms or pathways through which place and the social relations within it shape the health status of individuals and populations (Dunn and Hayes 2000; Hayes and Dunn 1998; Kaplan and Lynch 1997; Lynch and Kaplan 1997; Macintyre 1997; Blomley 1994; Syme 1994). Missing from current studies in the examination of health effects of local environments is the subjective meaning and importance that individual’s give to where they reside, i.e their sense of place. We contend that sense of place is an important link in the pathway that translates population health determinants to health outcomes. The purpose of this edited collection is to attempt to shed light on this linkage. To frame this collection we begin by briefly outlining the population health discourse and specifically the role of environment and place within that. Here we will highlight the determinants that appear to be central to the link between sense of place and health (these will be the social, physical, economic and cultural context of health). Following this, the literature specific to sense of place is reviewed, particularly as it is associated with health. Finally an overview of the contributing chapters in the volume is provided.