SERVICE: The Place Standard – How Good is Our Place?

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What is the Place Standard?

The Place Standard tool provides a simple framework to structure conversations about place. It allows you to think about its physical elements (for example its buildings, spaces, and transport links) as well as the social aspects (for example whether people feel they have a say in decision making). This short video introduces the Place Standard.

Access the Place Standard tool (web version) here.

The tool provides prompts for discussions, allowing you to consider all the elements of a place in a methodical way. It pinpoints the assets of a place as well as areas where a place could improve.

The tool has been built jointly by NHS Health Scotland, the Scottish Government and Architecture and Design Scotland. For more see:

How the tool works

The tool asks 14 questions about the physical and social elements of a place. Questions relate to themes, which can be seen around the outer rim of the diagram above. Participants answer by scoring from 1 to 7, where 1 means there is a lot of room for improvement and 7 means there is very little room for improvement.

Results are plotted on the diagram: points closer to the centre represent those areas most in need of improvement while those towards the edge are strengths. This output is used to define priorities and actions for local improvements.

Who uses the Place Standard?

Place Standard in Planning is a series of case studies by A&DS showing the diverse ways that different groups have used the tool for planning at various scales.

Case Study: Place Standard in Planning – Local Authority Scale

Case Study: Place Standard in Planning – Focus on Argyll and Bute Council

Case Study: Place Standard in Planning – City District Scale

Case Study: Place Standard in Planning – Settlement Scale

Case Study: Place Standard in Planning – Focus on North Ayrshire Council

Case Study: Place Standard in Planning – Neighbourhood Scale 

Case Study: Place Standard in Planning – Development Site Scale

We also have a series of articles about the early trial of the Place Standard. You can read more about this process here.

This short video introduces the idea of using the Place Standard.


An app for the Place Standard is available to download for free for Android or Apple smartphones or tablets. It has been designed to integrate with the online tool, which means users will be able to use the online tool or the app and the results from both can be collated or analysed together.

The Place Standard Case Studies

This series of case studies from A&DS illustrates how the Place Standard tool has been used in a variety of ways.

Place Standard: Arbroath

Working with Place Standard partners A&DS led a workshop at an Angus Managers Forum event.

Place Standard: Housing in Shetland

A&DS helped Hjaltland Housing Association and Shetland Islands Council prepare for the development of Shetland’s largest housing site at Staneyhill.

OUR WORK: Empowering Communities

A&DS supports communities, providing advice and support and we promote the benefits of community engagement and share examples of good work.

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