The Recap: A weekly update from Architecture and Design Scotland

An illustration of Benarty showcasing a green spaces for community food, outdoor classrooms, playwark and an adjacent active travel network.
Published: 03/06/2024

Welcome to the Recap - a short weekly update blog from Architecture and Design Scotland. This is based on our internal blog that is shared with staff and board members on Fridays. 

International recognition for Stewarton 

We recently received a mention in a Dutch news piece about our work with Stewarton. Titled "Three steps to local living, that's how the Scots do it" (with a little help from Google Translate), this article shares the Scottish Government's commitment to Local Living, National Planning Framework 4 and the implementation of a 20-minute neighbourhood approach. 

It's wonderful to see our hard work gaining recognition from overseas. As the news piece mentions, "In Stewarton, the council also obtained information from various government bodies such as Architecture and Design Scotland, an independent advisory body in the field of spatial planning." 

Place Forum 4: preventative design - tickets now live

Titled "Preventative design: how to build healthy, sustainable communities", our next Place Forum (on 19 June - online)  will explore preventative design-led approaches to solving place issues and long-term planning. The simple provocation for the event is: How do you create healthy and sustainable places that support people’s wellbeing by taking a preventative approach?  

Confirmed speakers include Ewan Anderson of 7N Architects, Rekha Barry-Houston of Anderson Bell Christie, Kevin McGeough of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, Christine Owen of Innovation Unit and Rodney Mountain, Surgeon and Healthcare Improver.  Click here for the direct link to register for the event. 

And coming soon... Place Forum 5

On Wednesday, we met with Professor Rebecca Madgin, Programme Director of Place-Based Research programme at the University of Glasgow to start to firm up plans for a collaborative Place Forum 5, in partnership with Academy of Urbanism and the University of Glasgow Urban Studies.  The main approach is regenerative place making through partnership working.  More will be revealed soon!  

A 2023 publication on Developing a People-Centred Place-Led Approach by the University of Glasgow and the Arts and Humanities Research Council is worth looking at if you want to know more. 

Climate Action Towns 

On Tuesday Laura Hainey was at Livingston at West Lothian Civic Centre to share learning from the Climate Action Towns project in Blackburn. Attended by several West Lothian Council officers and West Lothian Climate Hub, Laura shared key learnings from the project in Blackburn where the community having the confidence to make suggestions for climate action was a key issue. 

A discussion followed about improved partnership working especially between schools and communities, embedding this work in another area of West Lothian and how best to identify where. On Thursday Laura got notification from Community Action Blackburn that the Blackburn Local Place Plan has been submitted to West Lothian Council. Developed in collaboration with the Climate Action Towns work it includes considerations of flood risk, biodiversity improvements and proposals for active travel. 

Still on Climate Action Towns – the work we have done with the community in Benarty was featured in the Benarty Newsletter, including an illustration of the potential for climate adaptation in the town. 

Queen Margaret University - community open day 

On Saturday 18th May Danny H was at Queen Margaret University for their community open day which invited local Musselburgh residents and members of the wider community to explore the campus and its facilities. 

Our collaborative Outdoor Learning Hub and Discovery Trail played a key role in the activities for the day, and it was great to see so many people utilising and enjoying the spaces. In particular, the Howff hosted a range of activities, including Outdoor Play: Making with natural materials, a ‘Drop By & Drum’ music-making session, a Noticing Nature: mindful sketching session, and finishing off with an open acoustic music session.  

A&DS and RIAS Scottish Student Awards for Architecture - information Zoom 

We were delighted to hear from past winners of the student awards during an informal lunchtime Zoom to encourage submission for this year's awards. Chaired by RIAS President Chris Stewart, with input from Morag Bain, it was a useful session to hear both from the students and from previous judges.  
Submissions for the student awards for 2024 close on 26 June.

Coming up...

How can it be June already? Anyhow, next month brings our first in-person Board meeting in our new premises (26th) as well as the aforementioned Place Forum 4. Hopefully, it will also bring some summer sunshine as I think we’ve all had more than enough summer rain.

Main image - proposals for Benarty by Richard Carman illustration.