‘Delivering Better Places’ was described by Professor Kevin Murray, Chair of the Academy of Urbanism and Chair of the launch of the research in January 2011 as a ‘landmark report’. The launch event enabled the findings of the research to be discussed and debated by policymakers, decisionmakers, developers and practitioners. It also enabled learning from the 6 Urban Regeneration Companies in Scotland to be discussed in terms of the practicalities of delivering on the design agenda in a Scottish context.
On the basis of the launch event, a learning point of the key outcomes of these debates has been produced. The learning point identifies a number of key issues, broadly summarised as follows:
- ‘Delivering Better Places’ is the start of a longer process of building capacity and confidence on building better places in Scotland
- The focus on making better places requires a shift in emphasis from ‘planmaking’ to ‘placemaking’
- Strong leadership is required to define clear outcomes and champion the process of delivering better places over time, maintaining confidence with a range of communities
- The role of the public sector needs to be strengthened as a more proactive agent of change
- Place is a public good: this means not only a sharing of responsibilities, and risk, but also a clear framework for delivering the necessary public infrastructure of successful places-, parks, good streets, social networks, aswell as the quality of life opportunities of jobs, learning, health and housing
A&DS, with partners, are committed to using ‘Delivering Better Places’ as a platform to improve the quality of outcomes in Scottish places. We will be developing an action plan to take the learning from the report, and the URC case studies, forward this year.
We recognise that are are a number of ‘place’ initiatives underway in Scotland, in the areas of health, learning and outcome planning in particular. In this context, a key objective in taking ‘Delivering Better Places’ forward is to engage with the range of work being done on existing places and new place contexts . Central to this will be a process of collaboration with policymakers, decisionmakers, developers and practitioners on a series of practical actions targeting the key recommendations of the reports.
An initial step in this process was the presentation of the findings of ‘Delivering Better Places’ and the URC Case Studies to the Cross Party Group on Architecture and the Built Environment of Scottish Parliament. The document is available here.