Place Challenge 2015: Summary Report

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Difficult economic conditions, in­creased competition and changing patterns of service provision are challenging the role of town centres. Rethinking town centres as places to live is one possible future. At the end of October 2015 A&DS – with a range of partners – brought participants from across Scotland together for a two-day conference in Arbroath, Angus to consider how to create town centres as living places that re-use existing spaces to deliver housing, employment and services.

The Place Challenge 2015 was based at Hospitalfield Arts in Arbroath and used the town as place to test ideas. The lessons learned about shared is­sues, design thinking and collabora­tive working are applicable to towns throughout Scotland. 100 delegates travelled from across Scotland to tackle the issues collab­oratively and to explore the “how” of making town centre living a reality.

The Summary Report presents some of the learning from the event. It includes a ten step summary of the process as well as visual summaries of key moves suggested by partici­pant group work considering Strate­gic, High Street, Area and Building level implications for town centre living.

Associated resources will follow on the learning from contributing keynote speakers and inspirational projects, on the individual group work outputs and on the methods and tools. You can see videos of the keynote presentations and interviews on the Place Challenge Vimeo Channel.

Place Challenge 2015 was organised by Architecture and Design Scot­land in partnership with the Scottish Government, Angus Council, Historic Environment Scotland, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, The Development Trust Association Scotland, Scotland’s Towns’ Partnership and Improvement Service. The event is supported by BIDS (Business Improvement Districts Scotland),  SURF (Scotland’s Urban Regeneration Forum) and PAS (Planning Aid Scotland).

Image: Richard Carman.

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