Place Standard: discussing growth in South Queensferry

A person writing on a yellow sticky note during a workshop.
Published: 17/11/2016

Scottish Government and Architecture and Design Scotland helped the City of Edinburgh Council manage consultation in South Queensferry in 2015, using the Place Standard.

The value of group working

Scottish Government and Architecture and Design Scotland helped City of Edinburgh Council to manage a substantial consultation in South Queensferry in 2015, built on the Place Standard tool. This pilot application of the Place Standard tool demonstrated the value of group working and the focus that the tool allows on place and community.

The process has allowed the council and local community groups to build confidence in one another, to identify local needs and improvements and to influence development as the town is expanding. The growth of the town is linked to a necklace of substantial development sites alongside the new Forth Crossing.

A whole town approach 

A whole town approach has helped people to consider and understand South Queensferry as an existing and changing place, in a holistic way. Facilitated assessment workshops took local people working in groups of around 6 people at a time, through the consistent assessment process, with scoring and priorities agreed by each group. In all 100 people, including secondary school children, participated at an evening and a Saturday morning session.

This application served to build capacity in the community. Analysis of workshop responses were collated to provide evidence allowing more effective dialogue between council, community and the developers of adjoining sites. Each developer could respond to a brief of needs and priorities created by the community in a positive way. Designers discussed their responses to this community brief as they worked with planning officers and through interaction with the Edinburgh Urban Design Panel.

Outcomes included

  • Shaping a draft Town Plan.
  • Informing development proposals for adjoining housing sites.
  • Shaping future council services for the town including asset management, parks and environment, economic development, education and housing.
  • Building trust between council, developers and the local community.

85% of participants said the event was “good” or “really good” and the City of Edinburgh Council is likely to use the tool again “as a basis for a range of placemaking activities”

Header image credit: George Kourounis

Working together to improve the quality of places across Scotland

The Place Standard is an easy to use tool to evaluate a place, from planning community services to designing and improving neighbourhoods. You can read real-life examples of the Place Standard tool in action from case studies available on our website.

See case studies