In a series of blogs, members of the A&DS Board explain what inspires them, their policy priorities and what they wish their secret built environment super power would be. Here Graham Hill, Cities Executive for Scotland at Arcadis and A&DS Board member, gives his reflections of being a part of Architecture and Design Scotland.
What inspires you day to day about being a board member of A&DS? Is there anything that frustrates you?
Graham Hill: I am inspired by the people around me who live and breathe the good work of making better places and encouraging good design in Scotland’s built and natural environment. Some of the work done by the staff of A&DS, without a lot of fanfare, is truly ground-breaking and is undertaken diligently and creatively, often with a pioneering spirit. Quite entrepreneurial in many ways!
I suppose any frustration comes from our future direction not always being in our full control.
What things/activities has being a board member of A&DS enabled you to get involved with?
I saw the East End of Glasgow up close during a running tour organised during GREEN2014 and that would not have happened otherwise! More seriously, I was honoured to see a design forum panel in action at the Clyde and also attended the launch of the place standard tool.
From your perspective, what are the best projects or activities A&DS has done? Why?
The Place Standard tool is an excellent example of tackling a much talked about need and producing a tangible and helpful format for engaging with community groups and third parties in order to structure the debate and push for improvements in quality of life.
What future work is A&DS involved in that particularly interests you and why is it important?
Related to the above, placemaking, particularly in urban environments, which aligns to my role as a City Executive for Arcadis. We are seeing growing populations in our cities and need to make the most of these challenges; connecting people to jobs, education and opportunities so that we see sustainable growth without disadvantaging citizens.
If you could make built environment policy … what one issue would you tackle first?
A joined up policy to deliver more and better housing in Edinburgh at pace.
What built environment super power would you like to have?
To see into the future to avoid creating the ghettos of the future.