Difficult economic conditions, increased competition and changing patterns of service provision are challenging the role of town centres. Rethinking town centres as places to live is one possible future. A two-day conference in Arbroath, Angus, considers how to create town centres as living places that re-use existing spaces to deliver housing, employment and services.
The Place Challenge 2015 is organised by Architecture and Design Scotland and supported by the Scottish Government, Angus Council and a number of partners and supporters.
A&DS Chief Executive Jim MacDonald said, “We are delighted to bring together people from around the country to explore how we can work together to make town centre living an attractive option across Scotland. The two days will be a mix of inspiring presentations, hard work and enthusiasm, giving our delegates the chance to learn new skills and take away ideas that will help them in their own work.”
Speakers at the Place Challenge included Kristen Hubert, National Manager for the Empty Homes Partnership in Scotland who highlighted the opportunities that exist to rethink empty spaces to meet our housing needs and Alan McKeown, Strategic Director of the Communities Directory, Angus Council. The keynote speaker David Rudlin manages URBED (Urbanism Environment and Design) and in 2014 won the Wolfson Economic Prize, for his work on the new garden city. He shared evidence and research on the potential of town centre living from across the UK and Europe.
The Place Challenge 2015 is based at Hospitalfield Arts in Arbroath and uses the town as an exemplar site but the lessons learned are applicable to towns throughout Scotland. The Place Challenge 2015 is organised by Architecture and Design Scotland in partnership with the Scottish Government, Angus Council, Historic Scotland, The Development Trust Association Scotland, Scotland’s Towns’ Partnership and Improvement Service. The event is supported by BIDS (Business Improvement Districts), Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, SURF (Scotland’s Urban Regeneration Forum) and PAS (Planning Aid Scotland).