How Good is Our Place? Place Standard wins top planning award (2017)

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A new way to evaluate systematically what a “good place” means, won 2017 United Kingdom and Ireland’s most prestigious planning awards.

The Place Standard developed by Scottish Government, NHS Health Scotland and Architecture and Design Scotland has won in the Excellence in Planning for Wellbeing category in the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2017. The Awards for Planning Excellence are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry.

The tool allows users to consider the physical and social aspects of a place, with a focus on promoting positive health outcomes. The tool uses 14 questions and the responses are converted into an easily understandable graphic which plots the assets of a place, such as access to services and facilities, safety, and neighbourliness

It has already been successfully put to the test by communities in Auchencairn, Greenock and Kirkcaldy to assess the quality of their local public spaces. You can read more about the Place Standard here, and access the tool here.

Jim MacDonald, Chief Executive,  Architecture and Design Scotland, said:

“We are delighted that the Place Standard has been recognised at these prestigious awards. The Place Standard is the result of excellent collaboration between NHS Health Scotland, Scottish Government and Architecture and Design Scotland and the many communities that have played their part in its development and testing. The Place Standard puts at its heart the importance of people being involved in decision that affect their places, in a simple, accessible and effective way.”

Nick Raynsford, former planning and housing minister and Chair of the Judging Panel, said:

“The Place Standard tool is innovative and flexible, and can be applied across the planning system, as well as being accessible to communities. The tool uses a broad definition of well-being which considers everything from buildings and streets to human relationships and social contact. It effectively reveals which aspects of well-being need to be targeted to improve people’s lives.”

Running for over 40 years, the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society. This year saw a nearly 40% increase in entrants and the judges shortlisted 90 finalists across 13 categories.

Place Standard: Housing in Shetland

A&DS helped Hjaltland Housing Association and Shetland Islands Council prepare for the development of Shetland’s largest housing site at Staneyhill.

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