Tackling the Housing Challenge – Blog by Jim MacDonald

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In this blog Jim MacDonald, Chief Executive of Architecture and Design Scotland, reflects on delivering housing for Scotland.

In May 2015 the Government published a plan to deliver the housing we desperately need in Scotland. The Plan was drawn up by the Scottish Government (SG), COSLA and a wide range of housing stakeholders and A&DS is delighted to be part of making it happen.

The agenda set out by the plan is an ambitious one – to deliver good housing for all. To do so will require many things but above all, it will require collaboration. This means thinking and working outside our own narrow field and being willing to take risks to find new ways of planning, funding and building houses that are part of truly sustainable places.

To support this we have been asked to lead work on developing new ways of creating long term visions for places that are rooted in effective community engagement. This is work that we have been investing resources in for some time now as we believe that plans developed in this way create better, more sustainable places. Not only that but they also enable delivery to happen more quickly and with less risk.

This work typically involves convening those with an interest in a particular place – the scale of which can vary from a neighbourhood to a whole settlement or even a city region – and using design to test and articulate ideas. A key advantage of this approach is that is makes it easier for the collaborators to understand and support wider outcomes. We see this as a great way of increasing the likelihood of getting buy-in from everyone, which in turn makes it more likely that we’ll get a plan which actually delivers.

Housing is an emerging priority of our new corporate strategy and we are actively developing conversations with a range of partners on linking housing with placemaking. We would love to hear from you.

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