Over 90 to help develop new vision for Inverness

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Over 90 people from Inverness will participate in the British Council’s Future City Game today where they will produce ideas to help with the development of a new city vision for Inverness.

The game, which is being run with partners the Highlands Council and Architecture and Design Scotland (A + DS), seeks to stimulate new thinking in cities about ways to address global changes resulting from globalisation, migration, climate change and issues affecting society.

From the 20th – 22 January experienced facilitators from the British Council will lead people from a range of local organisations including community councils, voluntary organisations, architecture firms, private businesses and secondary schools through three stages – visioning, testing and presenting – giving them a set of tools to help them to work together, to develop ideas, and to present their findings.

The teams identify challenges facing the city (environmental, social, economic and cultural) and design solutions which they test and refine with the help of practitioners and community members. At the end of the exercise the stakeholders are presented with the concepts and vote for the winning idea. This will be presented to Highland Council in April who will then seek to make that idea a reality.

Diarmaid Lawlor, Head of Urbanism for Architecture + Design Scotland said:

A&DS are delighted to support Highlands Council in the process of discussing what kind of place Inverness could be. This is a challenging question. The only real answer can emerge from discussion on the ground. We commend Highlands Council, both the leadership and the officers for committing to the agenda of creating and maintaining places where people want to be, particularly in the context of the national agenda of reform of the planning system.

Provost Jimmy Gray, chairman of the Council’s Inverness City Committee, said the workshops were the community’s opportunity to help shape the city’s future. Input from the workshops would help shape the City Vision. He said:

This is an exciting opportunity for the people of Inverness to have their say on the future growth of the city. On the wider front there is the role that Inverness plays both in the wider Highlands and throughout Scotland, a stronger Inverness will help create a stronger Highlands.

Paul Docherty, Director British Council Scotland said:

As an international organisation we understand the benefit that cultural relations can deliver for Scotland. The Future City Game has taken part across all of Europe and was designed to stimulate new opportunities for vital, vibrant, modern cities. We are delighted that Inverness has been chosen to experience the project and we are pleased to be working with our partners in Highlands Council and Architecture and Design Scotland.

Inverness has been one of the fastest growing cities in Europe in the last few years. A look at how the plan of the city has developed over the last 100 years shows a dramatic change in the shape and extent of the city. The new city vision will help to set out a new approach to planning in the city, helping to meeting the challenges of climate change and making effective transport linkages.

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Place and leadership

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