Annual Review 2021: A reflection of our work 

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In 2021, we set out our plans for the coming decade. We aim to provide leadership on the spatial aspects of the Place Principle to stimulate a step-change in how Scotland’s places are planned, designed, delivered, and sustained.

We want to inspire those around us to get involved in their places – in towns, cities, and communities across Scotland.

The pandemic continued to impact our places through 2021, and helping places recover from Covid-19 is now part of our work, sitting alongside the challenges of the climate emergency. In our Annual Review for 2021 we highlight areas of work, share some of your feedback and our staff reflect on their highlights of 2021.

Applying the strategy to our work in 2021 

A core part of our strategy is to help overcome these challenges by creating the conditions for the Place Principle to become the ‘new normal’ when planning future investment in our public services and assets.  

We know design can help realise our country’s ambitions to create better places. Throughout 2021, our team at A&DS has worked collaboratively with key decision-makers and local people to address the unique needs of their places. 

We’ve summarised our work in the 2021 Annual Review spanning projects across Scotland. Click on the link above to download our report to learn more about our work in 2021.

Working together to create thriving places

A more collaborative approach to services, land and buildings – across all sectors within a place – enables better outcomes for everyone. It increases opportunities for people and communities to shape their own lives. Working together in this way can transform our places and the lives of the people in them. In the first chapter of the Annual Review we look at projects where collaboration is helping create thriving places.

Championing good design and collaboration 

Places should reflect the needs, interests, and ambitions of those who shape and live in them. Without good design, we wouldn’t be able to fully experience places that could provide better opportunities for our future. In the second chapter of the Annual Review, we showcase some of the projects that promoted good design and the benefits it can provide to our people, ranging from our student awards to a major exhibition at the V&A Dundee.

Acting on the climate emergency 

The climate emergency is our greatest challenge and touches almost every aspect of our lives. Places created or adapted to tackle climate change are also better places for people. Whilst climate is a key consideration in all our work, in the third chapter of the Annual Review you can read about some of our work that is specifically focussed on climate.

What you said, and what is next?

Working directly with people we create examples of what working together in a place means. It allows us to gather evidence of the benefits of collaboration. This is an important part of our work. In the fourth section we look at a snapshot of our work in 2021 and gather feedback from people we have worked with. 

Our vision is for a Scotland whose places are healthy, sustainable, and thriving, where everyone works together to shape their future. All the work we’ve achieved collectively across Scotland in 2021 wouldn’t have been possible without you, our partners, stakeholders, local authorities, community groups, local people, and staff. We look forward to continuing to work together. 

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Click here to download a print/mobile friendly version of our annual review

(Updated January 2022)

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