The Scottish government has issued its architecture policy, concentrating on the importance of place-making.

Scottish landscape Photo: Julian Jones
Scotland's architecture policy also covers landscape. Photo: Julian Jones

Entitled ‘Creating Places’ , the policy has three key drivers, the government says. These are to:

• create successful, thriving and sustainable places and communities

• deliver well-designed public buildings which are greener – and which represent good value for money

• tackle the barriers to good quality development, through education, skills and advocacy.

The ministerial foreword, from Fiona Hyslop, cabinet secretary for culture and external affairs, and Derek Mackay, minister for local government and planning, says: ‘Place should not be considered merely a backdrop to our lives, but as an agent of change. Good buildings and places can enrich our lives as individuals and as a society in many different ways. Whether it is by supporting active, healthy lifestyles, or reducing our carbon footprint, or being the critical factor which attracts visitors and inward investment, the value of place cannot be underestimated or ignored.

On landscape, the report says, ‘Landscape design is an integral component of placemaking. Well-designed landscapes can provide many benefits: safe, creative spaces for children to play and people to gather in; public space that promotes access to the outdoors; biodiversity and water management; the reduction of airborne particles; and improved micro-climate and space for local food production. These are all important issues that can be combined and delivered effectively through good landscape design.’

Sue Evans, of the Central Scotland Green Network Unit, said, ‘We welcome the Scottish Government’s new policy statement on Architecture and Place for Scotland. It recognises the vital role of greenspace in sustaining healthy, vibrant communities and the role of landscape in providing the setting for and creating memorable places which are beautiful, multi-functional  and life-enhancing. Two thirds of Scotland’s population live in the Central Scotland Green Network area. We are tasked with effecting a step change in environmental quality to make this part of Scotland a more attractive place in which to live and work. This policy, supported by the existing Government guidance Green Infrastructure – Design and Placemaking, provides an excellent platform to inform the delivery of the CSGN Vision.’

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