Place Standard: Discussing Growth in South Queensferry

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In terms of usefulness 85% of participants said the event was “good” or “really good”.

 CEC is likely to use the tool again “as a basis for a range of placemaking activities”

What did we do?

Scottish Government and A&DS helped City of Edinburgh Council to manage a substantial consultation in South Queensferry in 2015, built on the Place Standard tool. This pilot application of the Place Standard tool has demonstrated the value of group working and the focus that the tool allows on place and community. The process has allowed the council and local community groups to build confidence in one another, to identify local needs and improvements and to influence development as the town is expanding. The growth of the town is linked to a necklace of substantial development sites alongside the new Forth Crossing. A whole town approach has helped people to consider and understand South Queensferry as an existing and changing place, in a holistic way. Facilitated assessment workshops took local people working in groups of around 6 people at a time, through the consistent assessment process, with scoring and priorities agreed by each group. In all 100 people, including secondary school children, participated at an evening and a Saturday morning session.

This application served to build capacity in the community. Analysis of workshop responses were collated to provide evidence allowing more effective dialogue between council, community and the developers of adjoining sites. Each developer could respond to a brief of needs and priorities created by the community in a positive way. Designers discussed their responses to this community brief as they worked with planning officers and through interaction with the Edinburgh Urban Design Panel.

Outcomes Included:

  • Shaping a Draft Town Plan
  • Informing development proposals for adjoining housing sites
  • Shaping future council services for the town including Asset management, Parks and Environment, Economic development, Education and Housing.
  • Building trust between council, developers and the local community.

How can this help me?

  • If you are assessing the characteristics of an existing area to inform design or policy then the ability of Place Standard to provide valuable baseline information can help you. The Place Standard tool provides a simple framework to structure conversations about place.‎
  • A&DS is providing support to Pathfinder organisations piloting Place Standard application in a range of sectors. For more information contact
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