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The University of Dundee, Geddes Institute for Urban Research, Architecture Design Scotland, The Academy of Urbanism
In collaboration with The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Planning Aid for Scotland, Sniffer

Organised by Husam AlWaer, Diarmaid Lawlor and Kevin Murray.

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Introduction from the Dean of the School of the Environment

Austerity and ambitions for recovery challenge how we develop sustainable places.  The active collaboration between state, market and community stakeholders is required for sustainable development to take root.  Professor Stuart Gulliver and Steven Tolson have presented an economic and social case for creating better places. They argue for better state-market relationships focused on the supply of well-designed places which provide for meaningful economic and social development.  As a University our focus is carry-out robust evaluation of current practice of spatial design and planning and to stimulate the critical assessment of new ideas and methods.  Through these activities we can provide a research and learning framework promoting better place-making.

The Geddes Institute for Urban Research has explored the practice of place-making through a Symposium series [1], [2]. A framework of principles covering engagement, design, planning and development has emerged.  A final Symposium, delivered in collaboration with RICS Scotland, the Academy of Urbanism, Sniffer, Planning Aid for Scotland and Architecture and Design Scotland, will explore the application of the principles to guide the design and management of the processes of sustainable place-making.  

The focus of the final Symposium will about how by collaboration we can overcome the challenges of ‘Creating Better Places to Live’.

Three closely-related questions will be considered:

  • Given foreseeable macro-conditions what collective strategies are required for managing spatial change?
  • What would active collaboration look like?  
  • What would a more effective master-planning process look like?

We are delighted to host this event collaboratively with community and development sector partners.

Professor Rob Duck, Dean of the School of Environment, The University of Dundee

[1] http://www.ads.org.uk/masterplanning-in-current-conditions/
[2] http://www.ads.org.uk/urbanism/features/practice-of-community-charrettes-in-the-uk

Briefing

The Symposium will share learning and identify practical action areas for developing better master-planning practice.

Professor Stuart Gulliver and Steven Tolson in their prospectus ‘Creating Better Places to Live’ present a case for place-making as a core element providing for economic and social development. They contend that “There is today an overwhelming consensus about place-making in Scotland and this consensus rests upon two factors. First; there is an insufficient supply of places actually being created and delivered in Scotland and second; the quality of that supply varies, with few exceptions, from poor to indifferent. The central place-making problem then is one of short supply and the quality of that supply and we need to do something about both these phenomena as part of an overall strategy towards addressing poor economic performance”.  Gulliver and Tolson call for active collaboration between state, market and community stakeholders in design, funding and development.  

Professor Lawrence Barth of the Architectural Association questions the relevance of the end-state master plan as a tool in the negotiated process of practical development.  He contends that “We have tended to become distrustful of master plans that claim too much for a final vision and understand too little the process of change, or that emphasize too much the formal beauty of a composition and too little the human synergies that may support our investment in a future…..…..the field of urbanism needs to invest greater effort into the master plan and the design learning that they contain, rather than less, for these are challenging tasks.” [1]

In short, delivering sustainable places requires better approaches to the processes of planning, design and development.  A re-framing of the process of master-planning is required.

Three closely-related questions will be considered:

  • Given foreseeable macro-conditions what collective strategies are required for managing spatial change?
  • What would active collaboration look like?  
  • What would more effective master-planning processes look like? 

[1] http://www.cu2030.nl/images/2013-04/learning-cities-platform.pdf