Communities gather at the Engine Shed to exchange ideas and experience on community-based climate action
(12 May 2023) Architecture and Design Scotland’s Climate Action Towns project today brought together people from across the country to celebrate achievements and exchange ideas on how to take community action on the climate emergency.
At the “Climate Actions Towns Gathering” held at the Engine Shed, Stirling on Friday 12 May representatives from nine towns across Scotland came together to share experiences and get inspiration from each other. The Climate Action Towns project is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by Architecture and Design Scotland, Scotland’s design agency, in collaboration with a range of partners.
Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Just Transition, Ms Mairi McAllan MSP, who addressed the Gathering via a video message, said “The power to drive change lies with every member of society. The places we live will need to adapt to the changing climate and to find a sustainable path to reducing emissions. Each place will have its own challenges. It will have its own opportunities.
“That's why projects like this are so important in raising awareness and enabling people to be actively involved. It shows the impact of working collaboratively and connections that are made by bringing together local authorities, local businesses and local people,” she said.
A key aim of Architecture and Design Scotland’s work is to draw learning from good examples of place-based solutions to issues like the climate emergency or how places are planned and maintained by working together. Their role involves sharing the learning so that other communities can be inspired and take action.
Architecture and Design Scotland’s Laura Hainey, who leads the work on Climate Action Towns, said “The Gathering gives us an opportunity to bring together participants from across the nine Climate Action Towns to network, collaborate and learn from each other. ”
“In our work we have taken a place-based approach, mapping the potential for climate action against our eight Principles of a Carbon Conscious Place – which include a place designed for and with local people, a place of small distances and a place that reuses, repurposes, considering whole-life costs. Exploring what climate action could be like in the various towns we have also connected with existing initiatives in places that can be built on or learned from. Some examples of these are from Campbeltown, Annan and Holytown and were featured in the afternoon session.”
The Gathering comes at the beginning of the third year of the project and allows the team to bring people together into one place. In the previous year, the event had taken place online.
At the event, the participants were able to attend the premiere of a new film by filmmaker Bircan Birol which captures the work across nine climate action towns. It portrays the various challenges the towns face in tackling the climate emergency from a community perspective.