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New Scottish architecture policy launched

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Scotland’s new architecture policy has made good design and placemaking ‘material considerations in determining planning applications’

Launched today (24 June), the ‘Creating Places’ document is the first SNP-drafted architecture policy and increases the focus set out in previous government statements on ‘the qualities of successful places’.

Scotland became the first UK country to a adopt a formal policy on architecture in 2001 and the new policy updates the last document published in 2007 when the Scottish Labour Party held power.

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: ‘With a stronger emphasis on ‘place’ than ever before, this statement shows the important role that the built and natural environment play in supporting issues such as, improving our health and achieving stronger and more effective engagement with our communities.

‘Importantly, this publication also shows our commitment to supporting our architecture and design sector. Together, we want to ensure that Scotland’s buildings and places enrich our lives, lessen our environmental impact and contribute to our cultural and national identity.’

‘Overall, it sets out the Scottish Government’s ambition for quality places throughout Scotland where people thrive for generations to come.’

The policy sets out a key role for Architecture + Design Scotland (A+DS) in promoting and policing the policy. (A+DS) chair Karen Anderson said: ‘By shaping our places, architecture also says who we are as a nation. Architecture and placemaking can help us address the economic, social and environmental challenges we face in Scotland. This policy clearly demonstrates the Scottish Government’s commitment to architecture and place in Scotland.”

Also contained in the statement was a commitment by the Scottish Government to support the RIAS Festival of Architecture which will take place in 2016.

Policy summary

Scotland’s new policy statement on architecture and place sets out the comprehensive value good design can deliver.
Successful places can unlock opportunities, build vibrant communities, and contribute to a flourishing economy. The Scottish Government has set out in its action plan the work that will be taken forward to achieve positive change.
The publication of this document is the first step in a journey which will deliver quality places over generations. The government recognises that its strategy can only be realised with the productive participation of its delivery partners. To facilitate productive partnerships, and to retain momentum for change, a portion of this document will be kept live.
A+DS will have an important role to play in implementing this policy statement and on influencing connections to related policies on architecture and place.

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