Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative

Proposed: Aerial perspective of Ladyfield masterplan.
Location: Scotland, UK
Project Categories: Urbanism
Year Started: 2010
Status: planned

The Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative (SSCI) is a Scottish-Government led initiative to encourage the creation of places, designed and built to last, where a high quality of life can be achieved. The initiative has identified 11 exemplar projects, which are considered best capable of providing a basis for demonstrating how sustainable communities can be delivered. The projects are in different locations across the country, representing a variety of different types and scale of development. The projects share the goal of delivering attractive, healthy and accessible environments in which people can settle, work and enjoy a high quality of life whilst reducing their carbon emissions. As part of the SSCI programme, the SSCI Charrette Series, conducted by DPZ, provided three exemplar sites with the opportunity to develop masterplans that promote sustainable design, whilst enabling a new level of public engagement in the placemaking process. All three SSCI charrettes offered their teams the chance to explore masterplanning in an interactive public forum. These ‘hands-on’ workshops saw local ideas introduced, debated and translated into specific community plans, which will ultimately prove relevant to the Scottish development community at large.

The SSCI charrettes were unique in their scope and speed, integrating local consultants. The DPZ team engaged directly with each of the local communities to determine the issues and solutions. Each charrette involved meetings with both the general public and specialised groups. These were carefully convened by invitation. Feedback was incorporated directly into the drawings. Between and even during meetings the design team prepared the necessary plans, illustrations, architecture and diagrams. All were developed on-site within each 5 - 8 day charrette in the presence of the public.

The SSCI Charrette Series heralded a shift in Scottish development practice towards more informed and more effective working. Piloted on the three different projects in notably different contexts, the SSCI charrettes have highlighted a number of benefits from this innovative design approach and process. The lessons learned from the SSCI Charrette Series can be harnessed and methods adapted for different projects across the country.

Existing: Lochgelly town plan. Phase I: Lochgelly town plan in 2026. Phase II: Lochgelly town plan in 2046. Phase III: Lochgelly town plan in 2066. Existing: Lochgelly Centre is a peculiar building, which is a jarring discontinuity to the pedestrian experience. Proposed: The renovation would retain much of the centre’s existing facilities, but provide a new liner, designed to reference the context of the street. Existing: The area centred about a historic war-memorial church is currently under-used, the library is set to relocate, and the Lochgelly Town House is recently vacated. Proposed: The proposed development is anchored by the supermarket. A plaza would connect to and “anchor” the current high street. Existing: View of Miner's Square from Bank Street. Proposed: Restoring the corner with a building reminiscent of the historic building which once occupied it. Diagram of a typical Scottish pend, with an outbuilding available for storage, car parking, or a basic rental unit. Existing: The town of Grandhome. Proposed: Masterplan for the Town of Grandhome. Phase I: including a portion of town centre and that of an adjacent neighbourhood across from the central park. Phase II: Completing the neighbourhood, the central public park, and the town centre, with key civic buildings of most types. Phase III: Including additional parkland and neighbourhoods. Final Phase: Including all neighbourhoods and the associated transit-oriented redevelopment south of the river.

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