Town Centre Living: 10 Principles of a Caring Place

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We have created a report which sets out the work that we have been co-ordinating, together with Scotland’s Towns Partnership, to respond and support the Scottish Government’s work around Town Centre Living.

In the report we capture output from workshops from an event we held in 2018. From this event, we identified 10 Principles of a Caring Place which place user needs at the heart of decision-making, service provision and investment in our places.

The following principles have been distilled from the outputs of a stakeholder workshop in 2018 which explored issues around care and place. They are not intended to reflect a definitive list or set of solutions but suggest important issues to consider when thinking about our town and town centres. These principles are interconnected, no one principle alone can transform a place independently.

These principles include:

1 – Friendly and Accessible Transport
People have options that are efficient, cost-effective and which encourage social interaction; there are connections between other towns and centres, not every town can offer everything people need, and inadequate transport between places can be an isolating factor.

2 – Accessible Quality External Environments
Inclusive networks and spaces that support multigenerational interaction. Diverse places to meet, connect and chat. Barrier-free open space for the whole community, within walking distance of homes and workplaces.

Achieved by: Building, enhancing and maintaining a network of accessible social spaces, (internal and external) to support intergenerational relationships – supported by communication, events and programming around community need.

3 – Digital and Physical Connectivity
Pleasant walkable places supported by technology, services and community.

Achieved by: Extending accessibility options and mobility services. Enabling walking choices through service design and spatial design, supported by innovation in community, partnership and innovative mobility technologies and systems.

4 – Housing Choice
Provision of intergenerational housing that offers choice in terms of typology, location and resident connectivity – supported by policy and financing mechanisms (e.g. co-living mortgages).

Achieved by: Regulating and innovating for mixed-tenure neighbourhoods that support community building, changing needs, right-sizing, step down/step up care, social spaces and places for family or friends to stay whilst visiting.

5 – Design for Re-purposing and Integrating Technology
Transform failing spaces and buildings by considering opportunities for re-use and repurposing, and developing intelligent systems that optimise the use of latent space and services.

Achieved by: Adaptive and innovative repair and retrofitting of vacant properties. Design support for technology-based wellbeing and care services supported by integrated systems, accessible and easy to use home-based solutions, adaptable infrastructure and local skills.

6 – Relationships, Support and Mentoring
For patients, families and care professionals. Encouraging compassion and care for one another and providing community support for technology use to increase confidence and connectivity.

Achieved by: Taking a whole family approach to planning services which supports single households with capability or mixed dependency households. Supported by places to socialise and opportunities to participate – and excellent, well-connected communication using the different channels users engage with, to build better awareness of local opportunities.

7 – Accessible and Diverse Amenities and Services
Ensuring that a sufficient number of core services (e.g. banks, libraries, shops, healthcare and publicly accessible toilets) are available and accessible.

Achieved by: Reshaping services, life planning and healthcare around local needs supported by sustainable, distributed wellbeing and community hubs. Connected by technology, partnerships and quality public realm
.

8 – Empowered Carers and Care Models
Empowering carers with more integrated place-focused services, workforce development and work assignment systems – supported by partnership working with clients, neighbourhoods and communities with smart technologies.

9 – Preventive and Holistic Healthcare Options
Integrated, multidisciplinary and empathetic health and social care. Ensuring patients are listened to and empowered in their care journey.

Achieved by: Curating conversations around the shared identity of the community, the values and expectations to enable people to make informed choices about participation, supported by place-based approaches to decision making.

10 – Opportunities for Meaningful Work and Activities
Provide a breadth of opportunities for volunteering, hobbies and skills development to provide fulfilment and a feeling of usefulness – reducing isolation and loneliness for individuals.

Achieved by: Recognising the potential of any individual to be a resource or source of benefit to their wider community and building programmes of opportunity for work and purposeful activity linked to service provision, volunteering and repurposing spaces on the high street to support enterprise.

Read the full report here.

(Image from Cycling Without Age)

Download: 10 Principles of A Caring Place

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SERVICE: Town Centre Living Advice

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