Green recovery: a cross-agency approach

A view from the ground to a canopy of rainbow coloured umbrellas against a blue sky
Published: 25/05/2022

Our work as part of the Key Agencies Group

Working together is about sharing insights, shifting mindsets and adding value.

While lockdown slowed down many major developments, Architecture and Design Scotland continued to collaborate working together across disciplines with our partners.

Through the Key Agencies Group (KAG), we developed a cross-agency offer of support aimed at supporting planning authorities and public sector developers to work with others on complex and large-scale projects.

In June 2020, KAG published its offer to support a green recovery through a strategic joined-up approach. The offer was made to local authorities to support early-stage assistance on spatial strategies, development briefs and master plans.

Since then, Architecture and Design Scotland has worked with the KAG Placemaking Sub-Group on projects across Scotland, from Kirkwall to Leven. Over 12 councils applied to the Green Recovery Offer. This approach – focused on the Place Principle – recognises the role each agency plays in delivering place objectives and the value that can be added by working as a team.

Our work in Fife: developing a story of change

In Fife – Scotland’s third-largest local authority area by population – Architecture and Design Scotland and KAG have been providing support to the Fife Local Development Plan team to establish a place-based approach to preparing their plan.

Our brief was to ensure that departments collaborated to achieve a shared vision. The support addresses the whole Fife local authority area, including Fife’s relationship to other places in Scotland, as well as support to one or more specific priority places for collaborative action at a local level.

The support initially involved working with the council to establish a shared understanding of the existing place qualities and developing an agreed “story of change” to support the delivery of a Local Development Plan. 

Further support included early collaborative exploration of place based priorities at a local area level and more recently on approaches to evidence gathering and storyboarding place based content.

Our work in East Ayrshire: early adopters of place-based approaches

Stewarton, in East Ayrshire, is considered an early adopter of using a place-based approach to create a Development Framework. Working with the KAG, we are supporting the planning department to take a collaborative approach to their plan for Stewarton. By helping them to also put people at the heart of the decision-making process we helped them foster a series of recommendations to be considered in their plan preparation.

Recommendations include testing the 20-minute neighbourhood approach when housing is developed. This is currently being progressed in partnership with the Scottish Government Planning Digital Strategy Team to use Stewarton as a live site to test the principles using various mapping techniques and data analysis.

The Place Principle encourages all agencies to collaborate in one place to ensure the infrastructure, built environment and services deliver for the people that are living in or using the place.

Bringing a whole-place perspective - our role

Architecture and Design Scotland can bring a whole-place perspective to a range of places across Scotland. Our role is to ensure that people and agencies come together to develop an agreed and shared vision at the very start. Contact us to find out more about our role.

Get in touch