Economic, social and physical: it’s widely accepted that community regeneration has to tackle each side of this triangle to be effective. Being a planner, I’d be lying if I said that my starting point wasn’t a focus on the physical aspects of regeneration – but as the years have gone by, I’ve become intimately involved with community regeneration and have worked closely with economic regeneration specialists.
There is another triangle that informs my approach: employment spanning the public, voluntary and private sectors. I don’t just mean that I’ve worked with each sector as a consultant. More than that, I’ve spent time working in each sector, variously as public servant, volunteer and consultant. The benefit of this is personal insight into the opportunities, sensitivities and constraints of each sector.
Multi-disciplinary and multi-partner teams are the norm for contemporary urban regeneration projects. As you can see from the selection of experience below, I’m used to working across disciplines, sectors and agendas:
Town centre regeneration – working as a member of multi-disciplinary teams preparing strategies and proposals in town centres like Strathaven, Kilmarnock, Lanark, Glenrothes, Paisley, Alloa, Dawlish, Renfrew and Erskine.
Client-side support – for example, assisting Clydebank re-built, a government-sponsored Urban Regeneration Company, with project management, selection of consultants and design teams, and preparation of development briefs.
Funding packages – preparation of a variety of funding bids for the public and voluntary sectors, including a new Health Living Campus in Clydebank for the Big Lottery Fund People’s Millions, the Titan Crane in Clydebank, and Renfrew town centre improvements for the European Regional Development Fund.
Project implementation and management – preparing development briefs and providing project management for implementation of a range of sites, from substantial derelict brownfield sites on the Clyde Waterfront in Clydebank to redevelopment of many other sites in west and central Scotland.
Facilitating partnership working and governance – including preparation of a new coastal zone management strategy for Hartlepool Borough Council, design and implementation of new governance proposals for Planning Aid for Scotland, and research into a new delivery vehicle for West Dunbartonshire Community Planning Partnership.
Support for voluntary, business and community organisations – including facilitation work with business associations such as the Association of Businesses in Cupar and District, Fife on the long term future of their town centre; voluntary groups such as Knowetop Community Farm, Dumbarton to develop new funding and charging mechanisms; and providing capacity-building training on planning to community groups throughout Scotland with Planning Aid for Scotland.
Masterplanning – from major strategic sites like the 565ha former Royal Ordnance factory at Bishopton near Glasgow, to regeneration priorities such as the 75ha Renfrew Riverside site on the Clyde Waterfront near Braehead, Glasgow, down to a range of smaller sites. The scales may vary, but each site has its own particular challenges and requires a unique approach.
Open space and countryside access – preparation of strategies and outline proposals for public open space, including Rotherham waterways strategy with yellow book and WMUD, Turriff showground/park in Aberdeenshire (with the same team), an innovative new park in Hartlepool (see project page) and a new 680ha Community Forest Park at Bishopton near Paisley with Cass Associates. I have also successfully designed, implemented and promoted countryside access networks, and produced accompanying walking and cycling guidebooks.
You can see more information on selected regeneration projects on these pages: