Learning from Public Sector Client Forum: rural futures

Add to Scrapbook

The Public Sector Client Forum on 29 March explored how we can work together to create thriving rural communities and heard from the organisations helping us get there.   

We broke up the event into three parts: climate, housing and investment. Read on for summaries of each speaker and highlights from the three Q&A sessions.  

Professor Russel Griggs OBE, Chair of the Board at South of Scotland Enterprise, chaired the event. Public Sector Client Forum is hosted by Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS). 


Setting the scene  

Danny McKendry, Principal Landscape Architect at A&DS, set the scene for the event with an introduction to our work on climate. He expressed hope the conversations would be infused with the Place Principle.  

The Place Principle is about:   

  • working together with coordinated impact towards an agreed vision  
  • pooling together skills, resources and investments with a place-based approach  

Our work: Designing for a changing climate  

This element of A&DS’s work is addressing what climate change means for the future design of places in urban and rural areas. It’s looking at how people can influence that design in a meaningful way.   

Danny also touched on our caring places work. This focusses on aging populations in rural town centres and urban areas. It looks at people’s needs and how places need to be designed to help them.  


Chair’s introduction  

Professor Russel Griggs set out the challenges and opportunities rural communities face. He emphasised place is becoming more and more important to all we do.  


Rural communities work at a very different level to big cities and even some rural towns. Urban areas need to realise they often need a different approach.  

Areas like housing and transport must be pooled into these rural futures to make sure we’re all pointing in the same direction.   

Community organisations within rural places need to understand what each other is doing. We need to help rural communities come together again after the pandemic.  


Housing is not just about retrofit. It’s also about growing the rural economy. We need enough homes to:  

  • give young people the choice to stay and work where they grew up  
  • attract new people so we have employees to serve the future  




Session 1

This session looked at ways we can connect rural places’ natural capital with climate resilience and local regeneration.







Session 2

This session explored delivering quality design and sustainable growth through the key rural public sector institutions.







Session 3

This session looked at how our rural institutions harness their data resources and collective knowledge for climate resilient, community-centred regeneration and investment.







Watch the full event recording here:

Introduction and session 1:





Session 2:





Session 3:




Published April 2022.

Annual Review 2020: Our People

As part of our Annual Review of 2020 we asked staff and board members to reflect on their experiences in 2020.

Making Places

Making Places: This project is about community empowerment and capacity building through community events and workshops.

Scroll to top