Located in Scotland, Chapelton of Elsick is to be an innovative, sustainable community designed to meet the requirement for new homes in the Portlethen – Stonehaven corridor within the Aberdeen City and Shire Structure Plan. The aim of the development is to provide 4,045 homes by 2023 - of which 25% are to be affordable - in a walkable, livable settlement.
In October 2010 a public charrette was held with the wide participation of stakeholders, neighbors and public officials. There were numerous sessions in which a variety of topics were discussed in high detail – transportation, green infrastructure and sustainability, education, health; and how they relate to architecture and urbanism. The design was carried out simultaneously with the meetings, informing the decision process in real-time feedback loops. There were four iterations of the masterplan with each version structured as a series of compact neighborhoods around a town center, connected by a highly permeable street network. The structural discipline, based on a human scale, allowed the designers to quickly investigate options at a high level of detail, while being confident that the overall development will function cohesively. The charrette culminated in a masterplan incorporating the input of all participants.
The indicative masterplan outlines the long-term vision for development of Chapelton. The phasing is structured by the neighborhood unit, formed by the 5-minute walk that most people will undertake to access daily services and transportation without relying upon personal automobiles. The neighborhoods are envisioned to integrate high-quality housing, associated retail and civic facilities and employment development. Based on the Transect’s urban-to-rural methodology, the final masterplan integrates a range of human habitats; from the most urban and compact choices, to larger homes and rural estates along the edges. Being such a large site, each neighborhood will undergo further detailing.
Chapelton will offer a departure from the current development trends as a stand-alone sustainable new settlement based on traditional planning principles. Well-connected to the region and respecting the natural and manmade local context the new town will alleviate the market demand pressures for additional housing, and will create new choices for compact, walkable, human-scale environments.