How Scotland’s towns and villages can help tackle the climate emergency

A pencil illustration birds-eye view of a rural community along a river, showing green fields, and a cluster of buildings.
Published: 22/09/2022

Scotland’s climate is changing. Across Scotland, initiatives are moving beyond cities to consider what can be done in Scotland’s towns and villages.

An event during Scotland’s Climate Week (Tuesday 27 September, 12:30-14:00, online) told the story of three projects which have been exploring place-based collaborative approaches to climate action in Scotland. The projects cover over 20 locations - from Alness in the North to Annan in the South.  

Organised by Scotland’s design agency, Architecture and Design Scotland, the event shared learning from the projects to help more communities take climate action across Scotland.

Community-led climate action

The three projects are examples of how communities and organisations in Scotland’s towns and rural areas are working together to make adaptations to respond to, and combat, the changing climate. The organisations presenting are Architecture and Design Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Improvement Service.

The Scottish Government’s Energy and Climate Change directorate will participate in the event to set the scene of how locally based projects are contributing to a wider strategy to tackle the climate emergency.

Critical time for collaboration

Jim MacDonald, Chief Executive, Architecture and Design Scotland said, “At this critical time it is crucial that we work together to find place-based solutions to the climate emergency. We know that working on climate has so many co-benefits including tackling fuel poverty and making our town centres more liveable. By bringing together key projects we get to see the great work that is already happening across Scotland – and hopefully, inspire others to take climate action.”

Heather Ashworth, Projects Officer, Keep Scotland Beautiful said, “Keep Scotland Beautiful is delighted to be invited to share our experiences of supporting community action on climate change at this key event. It has been inspiring to support communities across Scotland to put plans in place to take real, meaningful climate action. A year on from COP26 it demonstrates an ongoing awareness of the need for urgent action on the climate crisis and the importance of the role we can all play.”      

Susan Rintoul, Place and Wellbeing Project Officer, the Improvement Service, said “Our places can positively or negatively impact on our wellbeing. Negative impacts can happen as the result of unintended consequences of an intervention meant with good intentions. It is important to consider the impacts of our interventions to adapt and mitigate climate change can have on health and inequalities. The Shaping Places for Wellbeing Programme aims to support this."

Header image credit: Richard Carman

Articles related to the event

We've released articles following the event that explores the different ways the organisations that took part, work towards tackling the climate emergency. Click on the links below to read the blogs:

Architecture and Design Scotland: How we work to tackle the climate emergency

Improvement service: Shaping places for wellbeing

Keep Scotland Beautiful: Delivering community climate action plans in Scotland