Planning and Architecture

Making Places – Engaging Children and Young People Event – 30th March 2017

April 11, 2017 by No Comments | Category Independent Planning Review

When: 30th March 2017, 13:00 – 18:00

Where: Gallery 2, The Lighthouse, Glasgow


The Scottish Government’s Places, People and Planning consultation includes a range of proposals which support further engagement with children and young people in the planning process.

We also want to encourage planning authorities to work with organisations to develop and expand the use of innovative methods for involving children and young people in planning. Some of the organisations that already do this are YoungScot, Youth Scotland, the Children’s Parliament and PAS.

The Event

The Making Places event was a drop-in consultation event. It brought together a range of bodies with experience of engaging children and young people in the built environment.

A brief overview of each of the projects can be found below.

LIVEPark – Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority

The event kicked off in the gallery with an informal presentation from Stuart Mearns, Head of Development at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority. Stuart set out the work undertaken in the SAQP2015 overall award winner – LIVEPark.

Stuart Mearns, Head of Development at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority.

StreetsAhead Tranent – The Children’s Parliament

We then moved out of the gallery space to see the StreetsAhead project mural from Tranent.

Chelsea Stinson, Children’s Voices Manager with The Children’s Parliament set out how, as part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 and the Festival of Architecture, StreetsAhead Tranent explored children’s views and experiences of their local community and built environment; examining how these factors impact on children’s rights and wellbeing. Their children had the opportunity to visit the United Nations in Geneva to show off their mural. Information on a similar project in Aberdeen is available here.

The Place Standard – Scottish Government

Our colleague Sandy Robinson from the Architecture team in Planning and Architecture Division set out the rationale behind The Place Standard tool. The tool provides a simple framework to structure conversations about place. It allows people to think about the physical elements of a place (e.g. its buildings, spaces, and transport links) as well as the social aspects (e.g. whether people feel they have a say in decision making).

The Place Standard, which has been co-designed with NHS Scotland and Architecture and Design Scotland, is shortlisted in this year’s RTPI Awards in the Excellence in Planning for Well-being category.

Shaping Our Spaces – YoungScot / Pidgin Perfect

YoungScot has supported the Scottish Government in preparing surveys of the views of Children and Young People on two occasions. The survey linked to proposals in Places, People and Planning remains open till 16 April. Paul Gault (YoungScot) and Marc Cairns (Pidgin Perfect), set out the aims of Shaping Our Spaces, a project which offered a residential weekend for young people living in disadvantaged communities to consider how they can play an active role in decision making on planning and the built environment.

Making Spaces – Children in Scotland

One of the reasons for choosing The Lighthouse as a venue was the exhibition Making Space 2016 which provided a backdrop to the day. Jane Miller of Children in Scotland gave an overview of this international design competition which actively involved primary school children in the judging.

Two projects based in Scotland were recognised with an Award:

Jane Miller, Children in Scotland.

Article 12

Working with young gypsy / travellers, Jill Keegan of Article 12 talked about her work preparing Planning Processes in Scotland: a Gypsy/Traveller Perspective. The aim is that the guide may give greater understanding of the needs of the gypsy / traveller community (having been informed by their own experiences) to better inform practice in planning processes.

Jill also noted the work of PAS which had produced a range of guides to the planning system.

Engaging Young People in the Aberdeen Local Development Plan

Aberdeen City Council’s project had been recognised in the 2014 Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning. Donna Laing of the council’s development plan team outlined the project’s aim to promote and encourage the role of young people in shaping the future of their places.

The council engaged with local schools through linkages with Curriculum for Excellence with the results directly feeding into the preparation and consultation of the Main Issues Report.

Many of the ideas on Aberdeen’s City Centre have shaped the local development plan and the City Centre Masterplan and Delivery Programme. The Youth Engagement Report and further information can be found on Aberdeen City Council’s website.

In the Footsteps of Geddes – PAS

Wojciech Borowski and Paul Ede of PAS spoke about In The Footsteps of Geddes a project funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. The two year project focuses on the ideas of Patrick Geddes, and encourages young people to get involved in their communities, to shape their places and to be active citizens. They discussed the advantages of engaging with faith based groups as well as other seldom-heard communities. They particularly focused on the current engagement with the community of Possilpark in Glasgow. Wojciech also mentioned a range of PAS initiatives including the Making Places: Bridging Gaps, a project focussed on multi-generational work in the Borders.

You can read more about this in PAS’s blogpost.

Young Placechangers – Greenspace Scotland

Ea O’Neill of Greenspace Scotland outlined work in Dunfermline with Youth Scotland, Youth First and the Fife Youth Advisory Group on a placemaking project to improve the town centre. The project trained and empowered young people to develop their role in leading place change. It led to work with the local community to identify opportunities for urban greening and increasing the connections between local greenspaces and the town centre. More details can be found here.

Ea also made reference to the GrowWild project. The flagship Water Works project in Barrhead was recognised with an Award in SAQP2015.

Youth Camp 2016 – TAYplan

The event closed with a showing of TAYplan’s video of their Youth Camp 2016.

TAYplan was recognised with an award in SAQP2014, and with the University of Dundee, is shortlisted in this year’s RTPI Awards in the Excellence in Planning for Well-being category. The Youth Camp 2016 report can be downloaded from the TAYplan website.

If you have any other examples of innovative projects engaging children and young people, then please let us know by e-mailing the Planning Review mailbox.

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