Alastair Thomson

“The historic town has increasingly become an image of urban preservation that concentrates largely on the external shell rather than developing its internal components that make up its character.” (Pálffy, A. (2014). Village Textures). This urban preservation of a towns external shell, subsequently leads it to no longer relating to its traditional social structure. Montrose has long been lacking new development that enhances its internal components, preferring to develop itself on its peripheral borders, as such, Montrose is left with a real absence of quality, town-centre living, working and socialising for its residents. Towns are losing their primary social and cultural function, due to pedestrian life being restricted to forms of transport rather than encouraging the art of encounter through pedestrian movement. (Gehl, et al., 2001) As towns have grown older, their form and features can still be traced back to their social structures, where people young and old, from different backgrounds and with different economic means and physical abilities can live side by side. Intending to create a new sense of identity for a depleted, backlands block, this research project interrogates the Scottish close, exploring how they can be manipulated into an urban type to redefine traditional social structures, and form places and spaces, that ultimately, people wish to live, work and socialise in.

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