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power-sharing in place-making

Over the last five years, co-production and collaboration have become popular – the concepts of people and organisations working together to make better places, with a focus on action. For some examples, look through the case studies in the excellent Compendium for the Civic Economy or the winning projects of last month’s SURF regeneration awards. There’s clearly no […]

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the fresh’n’lo approach to rural planning

A few months ago, I wrote about refreshing rural planning policy to encourage more rural investment, more diverse and sustainable rural economies, and thriving rural communities. Since then, respected Haddington-based surveyors and architects Chalmers & Co have taken the lead in moving this agenda forward in East Lothian. The firm spotted what they saw as a gap […]

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how Haddington is fulfilling its potential

Urban Animation, WMUD, Dhu Rural and I have recently completed the Haddington town centre vision – a fascinating six month project which we believe offers a model for other town centres around the country to make the most of their assets, and get public, private and community sectors working together in a way which builds better places and […]

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community empowerment and planning

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on its proposed Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill; this paper is a contribution to that discussion. It has been jointly written with Hugh Moore, who has been chair of Giffnock Community Council in East Renfrewshire for a number of years. As well as being Community Councillors, both Hugh and I are […]

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making the most of what people tell us

This article was written jointly with Drew Mackie of Drew Mackie Associates, who supply support services in community consultation and qualitative research in regeneration. The article was published in the June 2012 edition of the Royal Town Planning Institute Scotland’s journal Scottish Planner. Much of the current debate on community engagement in planning revolves around better ways of engaging with […]

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the Biggar Agenda | three lessons for other places

Working with Kevin Murray Associates, WMUD, Hamilton-Baillie Associates and VivID Ideas & Solutions, we’ve recently completed The Biggar Agenda: a community strategy for the next ten years. This is the third in a series of town strategies that we have prepared for the award-winning South Lanarkshire Rural Partnership‘s Market Towns Initiative, the earlier towns being Lanark and Strathaven. In each town, our […]

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Neighbourhood Planning Plus

There seem to be more and more seminars and workshops about community engagement in planning. A common theme, to me, is that we know that we have to do it; but we not quite sure how. We’re struggling to engage communities successfully and consistently, in ways which don’t simply meet the requirements of planning legislation, […]

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