Alva Pathfinder toolkit

An introduction to the approach we took and tools we used during the Alva Pathfinder work. 

A black and white illustrative aerial view of Alva town centre.

As an accompanying piece to the case study for Alva Pathfinder, we (Architecture and Design Scotland and the Scottish Futures Trust) have set up a set of tools to support the council and inform subsequent work.  

This is intended to provide detailed consultant briefing material for the design brief and procurement of regeneration of the Glentana Mill site. 

What this page covers: 

Illustration of a park beside a road. There are people walking through the park and exercising.

Alva Pathfinder: what is it?

The Alva Pathfinder project involves the collaboration of a variety of stakeholders for the regeneration of Alva’s town centre.  

It takes on the meaning of whole-place collaboration, by engaging with the community and Clackmannanshire Council to identify the changes needed to improve Alva.  

We have worked closely with the people of Alva and the local council to develop a vision for a safe and thriving town centre.  

Image credit: 3D Reid

What can I expect to read in the toolkit?

This toolkit is specific to the Alva Pathfinder but can also be applicable to other local authorities or council members who are considering on undertaking a town centre regeneration project.  

You can expect to use this toolkit as an example of ideas of what is achievable for your town centre. This page covers the personas, recommendation and a sample of the SMART objectives and logic model seen in the report.   

We recommend you download the report for the full picture of what was brought forward for the Alva Pathfinder project, specifically for the action plan template. 

Alva Pathfinder toolkit

Download this toolkit for extensive information on all aspects of the work such as personas, recommendations and actions, tools and the action plan template. 

An black and white pencil drawing of a person with glasses.

Personas from the Place Standard outputs for Alva

The personas created from the tool enabled us and the rest of the team involved in this project to focus on what matters most to the people of Alva. The personas in this project included information such as: 

  • name, age and a short quote to exemplify what this persona cared about 
  • who they are? 
  • their social and family life 
  • their home and local area 
  • the media use and service preferences 
  • their concerns, dreams and aspirations 
  • the three things they’d like to see happen in Alva 

An example of a persona used in the toolkit

I live in Alva with my partner Jenny. After suffering from cancer several years ago, my health has never properly recovered, and I now have to live with some long-term conditions that limit my mobility and have meant that I have had to shield over the course of the past year.

We don’t have any children and our friends are spread over quite a large area. As she can drive, I rely on Jenny for transport. The public transport connections are difficult for me to navigate. It would take a long time and multiple changes to see those we most frequently visit, who have settled in more rural areas, in the north.   

We used to have a very full social calendar but even before the pandemic, my health challenges were starting to make me feel a bit more restricted and disconnected. 

We live close to the centre of Alva, which has been a real blessing since my health issues started, as local facilities have been close to hand, and I’ve still been able to get in and out of town.  

I’ve really struggled with not being able to do that over the past year and feel that my mental health has suffered as a consequence, which has been difficult for Jenny, too.  

After becoming ill, we managed to move into a bungalow, to provide me with a fully accessible home, of a manageable size, so I am lucky in that respect. 

We are both very adept at IT, as have used it extensively in our respective careers. However, I used to be very much a people person and don’t feel that video calls substitute that. As a consequence, I have found that I don’t tend to call people very often, anymore. 

I worry about being an increasing burden for Jenny and, similarly, am concerned about what may happen to me if she was to become unwell.  

I’ve been able to travel readily in the past, now I don’t feel that I’ve really been able to become part of a community in Alva. As shielding eases I’d really like to make an effort to do this and gain some more social interaction in my immediate locality. 

  • I’d like to see the external environment improved to aid accessibility.  
  • A greater mix of facilities and activities across all age groups. Despite my conditions, I don’t really identify as being elderly and so would like a more diverse array of things to be able to get involved with.  
  • Some local support services to help me to build up my confidence, following the pandemic and to help me get out and about again and to give Jenny a bit of a break, too. 

Alva design statement

In this toolkit, you can expect to find further recommendations and actions relevant to the design statement for Alva. This page only covers one example per section. You can download the toolkit to find the full list of recommendations. 

Recommendations and actions to improve connectivity or movement 

This section of the toolkit includes relevant information on what can be done for Alva to improve connectivity or movement of people.  

It considers the development and following objectives that should be considered (recommendations and actions) and includes additional supporting information and views of what success can look like. 

Examples found in the toolkit:

Providing well maintained bus stops with up-to-date travel information encourages people to use public transport. The physical condition of the bus stop often indicates its usage and popularity with the local community. The analysis did highlight the needs for bus stops to be better maintained.  

Bus stops are also now becoming features of the high street that provide advertising or local information as well as being a structure that can help address climate change with green roofs and solar lighting.  

The following ideas are recommended as part of delivering the objectives on movement and cycling. 

Project Ideas:  

  • Improve the visual appearance of the bus stops to encourage more people to take sustainable travel options.  
  • Explore opportunities for bus stops to provide up to date information potentially with a live feed potential.  
  • Explore opportunities to undertake community clean ups with the support of community safety services such as community pay back where applicable.  
  • Explore the opportunity to install relevant CCTV cameras to assist in reducing speeding on main roads.  
  • Explore opportunities to develop interactive screens at bus stop to link to phone apps to provide local information and links to events or services.  
  • Explore opportunities to help mitigate against climate change by introducing where possible plant-topped living roof bus shelter which help support local biodiversity and help with absorbing rainwater. 

Recommendation and actions to improve public spaces

This section of the toolkit includes relevant information on what can be done to improve public spaces for people in Alva.  

It considers the development and following objectives that should be considered (recommendations and actions) and includes additional supporting information and views of what success can look like. 

Examples found in the toolkit:

Improving the quality of our urban and rural environments is vital if we are to deliver on our ambition to make Scotland a greener, wealthier and fairer, smarter, healthier and stronger, country.  

When green infrastructure components are linked together to form a series of green networks, further combined benefits can be achieved at a strategic level. Green infrastructure can also play a role in making streets more walkable and people friendly.  

The following ideas are recommended as part of delivering the objectives on improving open space.  

Project ideas:  

  • Community gardens  
  • Street trees and planters  
  • Sustainable drainage systems 

Recommendations and actions for improving local resources

This section of the toolkit includes relevant information on what can be done to improve local resources for people in Alva.  

It considers the development and following objectives that should be considered (recommendations and actions) and includes additional supporting information and views of what success can look like.

Examples found in the toolkit:

Build on quality of recent housing so far to meet local housing demand. This includes more affordable family housing for families with disabled needs, multi-generational housing, and 'carbon neutral' housing/flats with better access to green space. 

The following ideas are recommended as part of delivering the objectives on improving housing options for the local community.  

Project ideas:  

  • Encourage new housing to be adaptable and affordable and meet changing needs of the community.  
  • Explore age friendly housing and downsizing opportunities.  
  • Cochrane Foundation as a model for older people’s homes.  
  • Explore affordable housing options for larger families.  
  • Ensure communities are involved in decision making.  
  • Intergenerational opportunities.  
  • Explore different affordable housing typologies to increase choices for people.  
  • Explore retrofitting and insulation to create more energy efficient housing from existing non-residential properties. A survey of potential properties would be recommended. 

Recommendations and actions for civic life 

This section of the toolkit includes relevant information on what can be done to improve civic life for the people of Alva  

It considers the development and following objectives that should be considered (recommendations and actions) and includes additional supporting information and views of what success can look like. 

Examples found in the toolkit:

These ideas are additional recommendations as part of delivering the objectives on improving safety.  

Project ideas:  

  • Explore how to create good lighting to help reduce anti-social behaviour/perceived problem areas by enhancing their use i.e., making more of the local park for evening use if it currently experiences antisocial behaviour at dark.  
  • Explore how to improve overall street lighting and park/open space lighting.  
  • Explore locations for speed cameras. 
Illustration of a courtyard with people around the buildings. There is a person using a backpack walking towards the centre of the green space.

Recommendations and actions for developing stewardship

This section of the toolkit includes relevant information on what can be done to develop stewardship opportunities for Alva. 

It considers the development and following objectives that should be considered (recommendations and actions) and includes additional supporting information and views of what success can look like. 

Image credit: 3D Reid

Examples found in the toolkit:

Create an interactive hub linked to local service providers with information such as activities, events, access to advice (e.g., mental health) and communication of issues (e.g., touch screen, online, social media).  

Integrating services and information in one location that is easily accessible by foot or bike will minimise the need to travel further by car. When considering service provision, look to incorporate as many complementary services as possible into the same building/space.  

Project ideas:  

  • Consider opportunities to integrate a hub into the regenerated Glentana Mill building as part of a suite of community services provision.  
  • Explore potential to relocate the Alva Community Access Point to a more central location.  
  • Expand the role of the portal to include information on local clubs, societies, groups and events to increase awareness of what Alva has on offer and to revitalise interaction amongst groups. 

Tools for implementation

This section of the toolkit illustrates the use of SMART objectives and logic model. It highlights the importance of defining the rationale and needs of the people of Alva, placing them in the heart of the decision-making process. 

An example of a SMART objective for the Glentana Mill sight looks like this: 

Objective 1: developing the site in a way that contributes to the social, economic and community wellbeing of Alva.  

To retain clarity and focus, no more than five objectives are recommended – these should distil the core rationale for the project. 

Objective 1: develop the site 

  • Specific – Deliver a housing development for elderly people 
  • Measurable – Deliver xxx new homes 
  • Achievable – Deliver in partnership with xxx 
  • Realistic – Local demand confirmed 
  • Timebound – Start date and completion date 

An example of a logic model is available in the PDF. Please download the PDF version to see the diagram not found on this page.

Want to know more about Alva Pathfinder?

We have additional resources such as the Place Standard survey report and the case study available on our website. To see these resources, click on the links below. 

An illustrative aerial view of Alva town centre. People are cycling and walking around the town centre with buildings, trees and roads.

Alva Pathfinder

Explore a case study that shows how the regeneration of Alva reflects on a whole place collaborative approach to working together.  

Read more
A black and white aerial illustration of Alva town centre with mountains in the background.

Alva pathfinder: application of the Place Standard tool

Read this report for a full run down on how we applied the Place Standard tool for the regeneration of Alva. 

Read more