Corporate Plan 2021-31 launched

An architectural sketch of green space in a town centre with people sitting and walking in the area.
Published: 18/03/2021

Architecture and Design Scotland, Scotland’s design champion, has launched its 10-year corporate strategy, calling for collaboration to ensure Scotland’s places are created for the benefit of people in Scotland, and ensuring that the voice of communities is central to how places are planned and delivered.


The strategy sets out the agency’s vision for the coming decade – a Scotland whose places are healthy, sustainable and thriving, where everyone works together to shape their future.

Well-established research shows that the design and maintenance of our places matters to people’s wellbeing:

  • Proximity to good greenspace is associated with improved mental health and wellbeing.
  • People living closer to greenspace are likely to be more physically active than those who do not.
  • Active travel offers physical activity and sustainable means of transport – good street design and lighting can encourage active travel, leading to health and environmental benefits.
  • Places designed to be walkable can increase the potential for social connections.

Ambitious strategy

As a national organisation Architecture and Design Scotland aims to ensure that the benefits of the Place Principle become an everyday reality. The Place Principle is an approach agreed by Scottish Government and public sector bodies – to ensure a coordinated approach when designing or improving places – from services through to major infrastructure.

Architecture & Design Scotland plays an important role in making sure our buildings and places support and enhance the lives of Scotland’s people. This ten-year strategy is ambitious in its scope and will help guide Scotland’s design and placemaking ambitions over the next decade, ensuring a resilient and sustainable future for everyone.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP

Strategic aims

Achieving the aims of the corporate strategy would see more people working together to make decisions on the future of their places. It would give an even stronger voice to the people who live in and use places, enabling their experiences to guide their design and delivery.

It would mean having helped to create well-designed buildings, spaces and places that meet the needs of those who use them. Success would be to see this approach systemically embedded across Scotland and as a consequence, the creation of well-designed buildings and places being the norm.

We believe in the power of collaboration and are putting this at the heart of our new strategy which is about bringing people together to design their buildings and places. Our role is to use our design expertise to translate their needs and ambitions into a shared vision to frame the delivery of new investment. In this way we can help create well designed places and make the best use of resources in doing so.

Jim MacDonald, Chief Executive of A&DS

Header image credit: Richard Carman

Bringing people together to create better places for everyone

Our corporate strategy sets out how we will make the Place Principle an everyday reality in the way Scotland’s places are created, adapted and sustained. Visit our dedicated corporate strategy 21/31 page to learn more about our aims in the coming years.

Learn more