New Architecture and Design Scotland report reflects on the importance of design to create thriving places in Scotland

Event attendees at the Climate Action Towns Gathering event watching the premiere of the Climate Action Towns film in a room.
Published: 30/01/2024

Architecture and Design Scotland, Scotland’s design agency, has published its Annual Review for 2023 today (30 January 2024). The document and online resource provides information about the agency’s work with communities, local authorities and other stakeholders to achieve a Scotland whose places are healthy, sustainable and thriving where everyone works together to shape their future.

Jim MacDonald, Architecture and Design Scotland’s Chief Executive, said “We believe in the power of design to improve people’s lives. That’s because design is all about creative approaches to solving problems. When we use design skills, we create places and buildings that best meet the needs of the people who use them. Doing so effectively means bringing all parts of a community together and working collaboratively on a vision for their place and this review showcases examples of some of the amazing work we were involved in last year.”  

“As a public body, our work needs to address the big issues. This means designing buildings and places which help tackle the climate emergency, address inequality, empower communities and improve health and well-being. Doing so collaboratively means we can also reduce the pressure on precious public resources, ensuring all investments work as hard as possible while creating the best outcomes for communities.”

Key highlights

Key highlights in the report include reflections on an event series launched in 2023. The Place Forum sets out to create a forum for those creating our places – whether designers or planners – to tackle key topics like climate change or infrastructure projects. 

The report also touches on our work in town centres and how we help schools to use the outdoors to support learning. 

In 2023 Architecture and Design Scotland led the work of the Key Agencies Group in supporting local authorities in navigating the new Local Development Plan preparations and provided a new online resource to help with this. 

The report also reflects on the last full year of the three-year project Climate Action Towns, which ends in March 2024. In 2023 the project continued to support climate action in nine Scottish towns. 

Read our Annual Review for 2023

Explore our Annual Review for 2023 and find about the examples of some of the amazing work we were involved in last year.

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