Design in a changing climate: new report launched

An architectural sketch of a high street and housing in a town centre with trees, grass and water running alongside it.
Published: 06/10/2020

Scotland’s design agency, Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS), has published a report setting out how places across Scotland can tackle climate change, while improving the quality of life for the people living there.

The report collates learning from a one-year pilot study supported by the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Division. It looks at changes that can be made to tackle climate change. The examples come from different scales: from an urban neighbourhood through to a rural community.

The report will be of interest to anyone involved in planning or developing places, including members of the community who want to make a difference on the ground.

A whole-place approach

Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said: “I am extremely impressed by Architecture and Design Scotland leading the way nationally in regards to addressing the global climate emergency, driving forward a whole place approach with the ambitious Carbon Conscious Places initiative.

“I strongly support your ongoing exploration of how we design, plan and deliver places and how that relates to our national response to climate change, decarbonisation and health inequalities.”

Architecture and Design Scotland Chief Executive Jim MacDonald said: “This report has been written during the Covid-19 pandemic. This experience has brought into focus the need for the local provision of services, improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure and the need for quality open space. The ideas offered in this report align strongly with the emerging thinking of a green recovery following the pandemic.”

“Over the last decade, A&DS has collected intelligence on sustainable design. However, with the introduction of a target to be a net zero carbon society by 2045, we recognised we could both support and gain more understanding of the practical and creative ways places can help achieve this ambition.”

What the report covers

The report sets out eight principles of “carbon conscious” places with examples from Scotland and beyond.

As part of the pilot programme we collaborated with four communities across Scotland and the learning from these are captured in the report.

The report also looks at what Scotland might look like in 2050 to allow it to reduce, repurpose and absorb carbon and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Header image credit: Richard Carman

Designing for a changing climate report

Explore what we learned from the first year of our work into designing for a changing climate. This report will be of interest to anyone involved in planning or developing places, including community members who want to make a difference on the ground.

Read our report