This Place Matters Resources

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This Place Matters was preceded by two pieces of research by the University of Glasgow working with others:

Delivering Better Places in Scotland (Adams, D., Tiesdell, S and Weeks, G.) (2011) explains how others beyond Scotland have made better places than we generally do.

Places Need Leaders (Adams, D and Davies, T.) (2012) sets out understandings about and proposals to strengthen local place leadership.

Various relevant reports and policies have been produced by local and central government in Scotland. They include:

Effective Democracy: Re-connecting with Communities (2014) is an important report from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities on the principles and first steps for strengthening local democracy

The Christie Commission (2011) reported on the future delivery of public services for the Scottish Govern

Making Better Places: Making Places Better reviews the connections between deprivation, well-being and public services in communities and places across

English and UK reports that are of interest include:

The Farrell Review (2014) is a broad and independent review of our collective efforts to plan and design our future built environment – which in turn shapes the way we live our lives. Commissioned by Department for Communities and Local Government

New Ideas Need Old Buildings (2013) from the Heritage Lottery Fund demonstrates that the historic quarters of our major towns and cities are the very places where new ideas and new jobs are most likely to happen

Leadership Of Place (2011). A leadership framework for the ‘place-shaping’ agenda based on systems thinking in a spatial context. Commissioned by the Homes and Communities Agency from the University of Birmingham.

The Lyons Inquiry (2007) This important report on the future of local government in England puts “place-shaping” as its central ambition. Commissioned by The Treasury and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Valuing Sustainable Urbanism, (2007) This useful work from The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment explores the values and benefits, including financial, building places in a sustainable way

The Egan Review (2004) The skills and training that built environment professionals require to deliver sustainable communities. Commissioned by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

English Partnerships (EP) and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) are now both subsumed in other organisations but produced useful reports on urban design:
Urban Design Compendium, (2007) EP

Urban Design Compendium Volume 2: Delivering Quality Places (2007) EP

Local Leadership for Better Public Places: Building sustainable communities, (2004) Guidance for local authority leaders to ensure quality design is part of everyday council practice. CABE with New Local Government Network

Academic books and articles include:

The groundwork books, which describe the importance of place, and date from the 1960’s (and were dismissed at the time) are those of Jane Jacobs “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” and “The Economy of Cities”. Today Jan Gehl is the foremost advocate of renewed urban life; “Public Spaces Public Life” describes the changes he initiated in Copenhagen.

Far too many books have been written about “leadership”. A useful set of writing come from Ronald Heifetz and include “Leadership without Easy Answers” (1994), “Leadership on the Line” (with Martin Linsky (2002) and “The Practice of Adaptive Leadership” (2009).

A short but useful work on British social values is Nick Pecorelli “The New Electorate” (2013) from the Institute for Public Policy Research. “Moral Politics” (1996) (2002) by George Lakoff shows how social and political values are rooted in deep moral understandings.

Articles about place that can be found online include:

Falk, N. (2008) The DNA of successful places, URBED, London

Gulliver, S. and Tolson, S. (2013) Delivering Great Places to Live: 10 Propositions aimed at transforming Placemaking in Scotland, University of Glasgow and RICS Scotland.

The Leadership Role of Creating Better Places (2011) Background papers from the Scottish Heads of Planning Conference

What Does the Future Hold for Scottish Communities? Report of the Scotland’s Futures Forum on a scenarios exercise for the future of Scottish places

Articles on leadership are mostly written in relation to business and they include:

Kotter, J. P. (1990) What leaders really do Harvard Business Review, 68.3

Zaleznik, A. (1977) Managers v leaders: Are they different? Harvard Business Review, 55.3

Professor Marshall Ganz works on leadership and community/democratic organisations. He gives a course of lectures at Harvard University and offers online courses too.

Other organisations that are interested in this area of work include:

The Scottish Cities Knowledge Centre Sharing ideas for stronger economies

What Works Scotland is a new initiative to improve the way local areas in Scotland use evidence to make decisions about public service development and reform.

The Improvement Service supports councils, councillors and Community Planning Partnerships in improving what they do

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Scotland includes ideas about sustainable communities in its work.

Planning Aid Scotland promotes education for all in the planning process, to encourage community engagement in creating positive places.

The Scottish Community Development Centre supports best practice in community development and is recognised by the Scottish Government as the national lead body for community development.

The Development Trusts Association Scotland represents and supports development trusts in tackling local issues and improving the quality of life in their community

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies leads across the UK with ideas on economic development, regeneration and place-making.

The New Economics Foundation is a UK-wide foundation and, among many other things, links local economics and place.

Locality is a UK wide network for community-led organisations. Their “Local By Default” campaign contains useful work.


This Place Matters

This Place Matters is a collaborative learning project for communities and local authorities.

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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