Quality of place is central to achieving better quality of life for all citizens. Quality of place by design is at the heart of the agenda for Scotland’s Urban Regeneration Companies [URC’s]. Since inception, the URC’s have sought to deliver on the principles of good design set out in the Scottish policy document ‘Designing Places’. Working with the URC’s, the Regeneration Division of Scottish Government and Smith Scott Mullan Architects, A+DS have developed a series of case studies on this work to date. The purpose of the case studies is to highlight Scottish achievements by clients and designers in progressing a better understanding of what a good place is, and how to achieve it.
The studies were selected to illustrate different scales of place (neighbourhoods, streets, public spaces) and different points in the placemaking process (built work, masterplans, asset management strategies, planning control). This contrast of scales, built work and stage gives a useful picture of the challenge of delivering places in practical terms. The themes were:-
- Clydebank re-built Connection & Control
- Clyde Gateway Integrated Urban Infrastructure
- Irvine Bay Re-making a Scottish Coastal Neighbourhood
- PARC Craigmillar Creating a Street
- Raploch Village Square at the Heart of the Community
- Riverside Inverclyde Re-imagining Place Assets
The key lessons have been distilled to provide six Practicalities of Designing Places as follows:-
Placemaking Culture engendered in the wide range of people and organisations from the local politician to the street cleaners, who have a shared vision for a specific place.
The Right Team of creative, talented people with strong leadership, communicating and collaborating with the numerous organisations involved in designing and managing a place.
Ownership and Control is critical to influencing the quality of the place, it allows a strategic view of infrastructure and a long term view of management and maintenance issues.
Community Engagement which builds the support coalition, encourages local leaders, ensures good communication and captures local people’s memories and aspirations of a place.
Adequate Time to form a vision, to engage effectively, to implement strategic changes while accepting that making good places needs to ride the wave of political, economic and funding cycles.
Policy Context through national policy, local policy, neighbourhood masterplans, maintenance policies and management strategies which support the quality and vibrancy of a place.
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