Stalled spaces – lessons from Raploch Green Arena

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The Green Arena emerged as a proposal from Raploch URC working with Architecture and Design Scotland, Rankin Fraser Architects and the arts organisation Wave. The proposal was to take the site – a stalled development area – and to develop a creative way to make it available to the community during the years before it would be built on. The first event at the Green Arena took place on 22 April, adding to the celebrations of Earth Day. A three-screen projection showed footage documenting the rich history of the local area, portraits of local people and images of the area as it could be in the future set against those of 100 years ago.

Following on from their scoping report on stalled spaces, Architecture and Design Scotland have commissioned greenspace scotland to produce a short report which sets out the initial learning from the Raploch Green Arena.

The report identifies 3 key challenges facing stalled site projects:-

  • Making it clear that spaces are temporary
  • Getting projects started
  • Obtaining adequate funding and resources

The paper describes how these issues have been addressed at the Green Arena, including: articulating the temporary nature of the space by design; higlighting the combination of good leadership and land control as being crucial to kick-starting the project; and, learning from experience in Glasgow and elsewhere in the UK, suggesting that more can be achieved with less simply by facilitating community initiated use of events space. The report is available here.

Headline image:Happening adjacent to the Green Arena, as part of the London 2012 Festival of cultural events accompanying the Olympic Games, Raploch is to play host to Venezuela’s Simón Bolívar Orchestra performing in the shadow of Stirling Castle.The Big Concert will include a performance from Raploch youngsters alongside the international visitors.

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Place and leadership

The cross-party group of the Scottish Parliament on Architecture and the Built Environment were presented with the findings of...

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