The Local Authority Urban Design Forum (LAUDF) is a network for local authority practitioners involved in urban design to share ideas on current issues, to learn from each other’s experience and to build up resources that everyone can benefit from.
This newsletter covers the tenth LAUDF meeting. The theme of Delivering Landscape and Public Open Space was chosen by the steering group. An agenda was then developed by Grahame Crawford (Falkirk Council) and Kevin Argue (East Dunbartonshire Council), with input from the steering group and Architecture & Design Scotland.
Presentations and learning sessions were curated to enable sharing of knowledge and insights around issues including major strategic greenspaces, integrated green infrastructure, community engagement, public/private partnership, SuDS coordination and integrating development with public realm.
The forum was attended by over 40 professionals from 22 local authorities and public bodies. It attracted a good mix from across planning, architecture, urban design, transport, housing and landscape professions.
Before the presentations kicked off, Danny McKendry (of Architecture & Design Scotland and a committee member of Landscape Institute Scotland) took a moment to promote the timely release of the Landscape for Scotland vision document. Prepared by LIS, it explores the value of landscape and priority areas including natural capital and health and wellbeing.
Key learning points
The following key reflections were noted from discussions:
- The vital leadership role for local authority practitioners was demonstrated by a number of contributors. Practitioners demonstrated that their influence can help improve outcomes by promoting a holistic approach to design and delivery, and through a willingness to work in partnership with the development industry and local communities to drive successful solutions.
- Various contributions highlighted the latent potential that exists within communities – to engage in design and development, to influence quality of outcomes and to take a role in the ownership and stewardship of landscape and open space. Reducing bureaucratic hurdles is vital to encourage high levels of engagement.
- Upfront planning and design for the maintenance and stewardship of landscape projects is critical to their long-term success.
- A place-led approach to investment in infrastructure within the landscape has the potential to bring about real impacts and benefits for places and communities.
- Even modest investments can deliver big differences to people’s lives where community needs and aspirations are captured and a focus is kept through delivery on the project outcome.