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The Academy of Urbanism Annual Congress VI 11-13th May 2011, The Lighthouse, Glasgow, Scotland

Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction.

“The theme of this Congress, ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods’, forms an integral part of the Academy’s ongoing work in promoting debate, exchange of good practice, stimulating research and celebrating achievement at the level of the city, town, neighbourhood or community/street.”


1. Introduction


2. The future is here!




Psychology of place


Health and liveability


Making things happen in a recession


3. Conclusion: The future is now!


Bibliography, Appendices and Congress Programme


Professor Kevin Murray, Chair of Academy of Urbanism, opening Glasgow Congress.

Produced by Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS) with the Academy of Urbanism. A+DS is Scotland’s champion for excellence in placemaking, architecture and planning. The Academy of Urbanism is an autonomous, politically independent, cross-sector organisation formed to expand urban discourse.

The Academy of Urbanism Annual Congress VI

11-13th May 2011, The Lighthouse, Glasgow, Scotland

The 6th Annual Congress of The Academy of Urbanism took place in Glasgow in 2011. The first day provided an opportunity for orientation for the delegates. The day commenced with introductory speeches from The Academy of Urbanism Chair, Kevin Murray, Glasgow City Council Bailie Liz Cameron and Glasgow City Council Head of Planning, and Academician, Alistair MacDonald. A series of city tours followed, familiarising delegates with the stories of the city from the grid iron street structure, to Glasgow Harbour and the recently constructed Riverside Museum by Zaha Hadid. Pollokshields, an Academy of Urbanism nominee for Great Neighbourhood Award was explored, as were Crown Street in the new Gorbals, and the Clyde Gateway Urban Regeneration area, which will be home to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Day 1 concluded with an evening reception at The Peoples’ Palace at Glasgow Green hosted by Clyde Gateway URC. The reception hosted a soft launch of ‘Massive Small’ by Academician Kelvin Campbell. ‘Massive Small’ explores the idea of new relationships with complexity as a basis for making better places. The central thesis of the book is that simple rules and enabling mechanisms, animated by the agency role of people, communities and decision makers allow for adaptable, resilient and sociable urban structures to develop. This is a challenge to move thinking about the shaping of the urban environment from ‘command and control’ to more ‘open system’ thinking, emphasising the power of agency. ‘Massive Small’ suggests that urban structures should be the product of a constant dialogue between five system elements: [a] simple rules; conditions or actions which allow for solutions to emerge [b] networks; the ‘sticky structures’ that provide an overarching interconnected framework at all scales [c] fields; scalable and intelligent elements, which in the system of urban form are the plot, the lot and the block [d] defaults; choices or settings that apply in the absence of active intervention and [e] catalysts; agent that stimulates or precipitates a reaction, development, or change. The idea of the dialogue of elements is to enable informed, emergent structures to form and prosper in response to a constantly shifting set of contexts. Achieving these urban environments require a new set of behaviours by the actors involved in shaping the urban environment; designers, decision makers, developers and citizens. The combination of an open system approach to shaping the urban environment, and cultivating new behaviours is, argues ‘Massive Small’, key to achieving better places for people and impacts on the ground. Day 2 of the Congress provided a mix of expert speakers, seminars and keynote presentations on the broad themes of Regeneration, Renaissance and Reconstruction. The morning set out the strategic context for planning and placemaking at Glasgow scale by Gerry Gormal of Glasgow City Council and Scotland scale by Jim McKinnon, Chief Planner with the Scottish Government. Lord Andrew Mawson completed the morning session by discussing a social entrepreneurs approach to working with people, the key assets of a place, to achieve effective change on the ground. The mid morning session focused on the sub-theme of Neighbourhood Stories. This series of presentations and discussions was chaired by Professor Brian Evans of the Mackintosh School of Architecture. Liz Davidson, Project Director of the Merchant City Townscape Heritage Initiative, gave a lively illustrated talk i

on the regeneration efforts of the Merchant City area. Carol Tannahill, Director of The Glasgow Centre of Population and Health (GCPH), gave an informed lecture on the findings of the GoWell Study, linking health and mortality indicators to a need for social reform led by urban regeneration. Ian Manson, Chief Executive of Clyde Gateway Urban Regeneration Company explained the role of the URC in driving transformation of the East End of Glasgow, to achieve regeneration with communities and provide a setting for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Arie Voorburg discussed the financing social renewal, speaking about the clear need to be focused, and be aware of what levers to influence to achieve change that lasts. The afternoon session took the form of a series of parallel workshops, working along themes of Neighbourhoods as places of learning, work, living, and as part of the wider city vision. These workshops built upon, extended and questioned the themes introduced in the morning’s talks. The workshops generated a number of themes and ideas around new ways of doing things to make neighbourhoods work better. These ranged from the use of prototypes to test ideas and interventions to new models of measuring how neighbourhoods work. Professor John Worthington of The Academy of Urbanism concluded this session with a number of observations: •

Centrality – addressing the tensions between centralised thinking and local action

Methodologies – There was much discussion of an adversarial system of working is deeply embedded in what we do. The challenge is to develop methods to achieve outcomes more positively, faster.

Dependency – change needs initiators. In some cases, lack of change is a consequence of waiting for someone else to do it.

The workshops and subsequent discussions suggested to Professor Worthington that, to achieve better places, we should develop a new approach, seeing places and organisations, learning places. These places need pro-active individuals and the responsible people who can do things as well as look at those who can envision a future place. In this context, a learning place approach requires an understanding of three things: •

How the place provides a setting for things to happen: how do places provide a setting for learning for example? (place) provide as a setting for learning?

What would the infrastructure of this setting need to provide?

How do we identify the opportunities, leads and deals in a place to make thing happen constantly - a learning neighbourhood?

In the evening a Civic Reception, hosted by Glasgow City Council, and The Congress Dinner was be held at the magnificently restored Old Fruitmarket, during which The Finalists for The Urbanism Awards 2012 were announced. On the Friday morning, a Post Congress Action Workshop took place building on our UniverCities and City X-Rays’ programmes and launching our new initiative, Place Partnering.


1. Introduction This paper has been written by A+DS with the Academy of Urbanism. The purpose of the paper is to pull together the themes and discussions generated at The Academy of Urbanism Glasgow Congress 2011. The aim of the paper is to draw out some of the key issues for policy, research and practice from this resource, to inform debate about how to build better places. In this context, the paper reflects broadly on the practice of urban change in terms of three related ideas: urban renaissance, urban regeneration and urban reconstruction. The structure of the paper is laid out in two parts: •

The first part, ‘The Future is Here’, provides a synthesis of the issues presented at the Congress. In broad terms, this part of the paper considers the practices of urban renaissance and urban regeneration. It considers how the thinking around these ideas of urban change have generated the places we live, work in and are challenged by today. This review is undertaken by looking at each of the Congress themes individually and developing a narrative based on the content generated at the Congress.

The second part, ‘The Future is Now’, pulls together some strands which are intended to progress debate about how we approach the issue of urban change holistically. In broad terms, this part of the paper starts to look at the idea of re-construction, re-construction of the idea of how we guide and manage urban change, re-construction of policy and practice. The purpose of this section of the paper is to invite further debate about how we make better places in our times addressing the challenges of today.

The Academy of Urbanism Congress VI in Glasgow commenced with strategic, scene-setting presentations outlining the national, regional and local context, followed by Case Studies from Glasgow, Beirut and The Netherlands. In the afternoon, a variety of interactive workshops, explored the ways to achieve continuous improvements through Understanding Place, Changing Perceptions and Generating Action. In the evening a Civic Reception, hosted by Glasgow City Council, and The Congress Dinner was be held at the magnificently restored Old Fruitmarket, during which The Finalists for The Urbanism Awards 2012 were announced. On the Friday morning, a Post Congress Action Workshop took place building on our UniverCities and City X-Rays’ programmes and launching our new initiative, Place Partnering. The paper was developed by A+DS through a mix of methods. First, the paper is s synthesis of the Congress programme, and the themes of the 2011 event, namely: placemaking, the psychology of place, community, culture and identity, health and liveability and making things happen in a recession. Second, the paper includes consideration of the provocation papers presented at the break out workshop sessions during the Congress, and the responses generated during the workshops. (These papers are available separately). Finally, the paper includes some reflections on the themes emerging by Carol McKenzie, PhD, a researcher in urban policy and member of staff at A+DS. 1

The Host City: Glasgow

Glasgow, the host city of the Academy of Urbanism’s 6th Annual Congress was also the recipient of the 2011 European City of the Year award as voted by Academicians in 2010. In recognition of Glasgow as host, the first plenary discussant, Gerry G, provided a contextual overview of Glasgow’s regeneration and how it plans to develop its ‘city vision’ for the future. The presentation provided an insight into Glasgow City Council’s past and present interventions and its future aspirations in identifying and defining what it perceived made for a successful city. Anyone familiar with the ‘Glasgow Story’ will no doubt recognise that the city’s economic trajectory during the previous 30 years from de-industrialisation to a first-class venue for retail and financial services, chimes with many similar cities in Western Europe grappling with the challenges of long-term economic and urban restructuring. The city of Glasgow stands out as a beacon of successful transformation in adapting to the challenges whilst harnessing the opportunities presented by a mature industrial society set within a global context. Testament of how ‘the outside’ has in the past and now views Glasgow’s success at transformation over this period can be found in the various narratives from publications including travel guides and newspapers. Glasgow has transformed itself from being, ‘The worst corner of Britain’, (The Observer, 1980), to ‘A fantastic world class city’, (Condé Nast, 2010) and more recently it has been described as, ‘Unpretentious, gregarious, and evolving at a dizzy pace, Glasgow defines urban renewal - a concept that the city has embraced with enormous vigour. Once synonymous with bleak poverty and grim desperation, Glasgow has managed to turn things around to the point that it is now a byword for style and chic’, (Lonely Planet Guide, May 2011 edition). Using the city as a ‘laboratory for learning’ the Congress talks and workshops were organised around three main parts 1) Glasgow City Narrative; 2) Neighbourhood Stories and, 3) Learning From Place. While this suggests a structure to the actual event, the dialogue reported here is organised around a number of themes that have been identified from these discussions. The report combines the intellectual insight of the author with the dialogues and makes references to some of the literature on placemaking.


Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction


2. The future is here! “Planning should be [...] a collaborative effort to maintain liveable neighbourhoods, involving debate about urban design and not just the wording of policy.”

Jim MacKinnon, Scotland’s Chief Planner

Context As economic transactions and activities have become more global in nature, cities as competitive spaces have been the dominant paradigm in urban economic discourses in recent years. Specifically, the nature of competitive cities is characterised by the economic imperative for diversification in order for cities to compete for investment, populations and job creation. This imperative has been and continues to be tempered by the subsequent fall and rise of the command economies of the previous Communist countries and Socialist states, the accession of states to the European Union and the challenge posed to the dominance of OECD countries from the developing economies of the Global South (China, Brazil for instance). At the forefront of efforts in adapting to the historic and new economic circumstances, urban renewal initiatives have been informed by the dominant paradigm that a city’s economic growth depends on its ability to stabilise its economy in order to become competitive. As debate and research on cities has shown however, to remain competitive, cities must compete to attract investment and people through emphasising not only their locational advantages (e.g. both spatial and temporal proximity/connectivity to international markets; time-zones and supply chains etc.) or their competitive advantage (e.g. natural/ human resources i.e. availability of a skilled labour supply) but also the quality of the physical, environmental and urban infrastructural attributes of the city in the context of these new economic realities. As economic restructuring is a long-term process, gauging or measuring the success or otherwise of how cities have responded and adapted to these new realities depends not only on objective economic indicators (e.g. GDP) but, the extent to which interventions have embraced inclusiveness and improved the social and economic conditions of all their inhabitants. In other words, competitive cities must not only be socially cohesive and just cities, but the spaces and places which define their boundaries, must also promote quality of life and well-being through the creation and maintenance of liveable environments. A liveable neighbourhood is where people want to live, work and leisure. Crucially, they must be socially sustainable.

Street life in Glasgow.

“Whatever the abstractions required to activate economic models, people live in places. They are always somewhere – in schools, in church, in neighbourhoods, in the office, in the factory, at home. People without places…pursuing and achieving their own self-interest…are in fact lost. They are homeless, jobless, alone. Losers.” (Wood, 1995, p139-141).


Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction


Placemaking Land use, spatial development and infrastructure planning is important to the task of creating liveable neighbourhoods as these incorporate a focus on development whether this is land availability for housing and services or features of the built environment such as buildings, roads and streets. In the Scottish context, the National Planning Framework (NPF) represents a more efficient and inclusive framework than has hitherto been the case in the previous sixty years. With much support from MSPs, the NPF2 was established in 2009. It focuses much more on community engagement and an acknowledgement that planning debates now need to focus on the planning and development system outcomes – planning should not be about process. From the perspective of Scotland’s Chief Planner, the issues of placemaking and design have too often been neglected.

Crown Street, Glasgow.

Despite this, Scotland has seen a somewhat ‘renaissance’ of the importance of our architecture, both historical and modern, as an asset to good placemaking and how it serves to underpin the enjoyment of places through how people experience place. ‘We’re good at re-creating places, not creating them’. In the context of liveable neighbourhoods, a criticism of current perspectives is that there has been too much emphasis placed on technological solutions to the new challenges posed by climate change. This is often couched in terms of how we plan for mitigating, adapting and being resilient to the effects and challenges climate change poses for protecting the natural (and built) environment, economic growth and social equity (i.e. ‘the triple bottom line’ of sustainable development). Planning and architecture has held some of the answers as demonstrated by Scotland’s housing archetypes such as tenement dwellings which are distinctive to Scotland’s cities and towns. As housing is the largest consumption of land, tenemental forms characterise some of Scotland’s cities’ as compact city forms. Compact city forms are considered to be the most sustainable urban form. High density development for instance, is often selectively confused with ‘high rise’ or ‘urbanism’ and in the latter, confusing this will pose a risk to how we want to progress. Is progress in the placemaking agenda in Glasgow for instance, evident by our development of communitybased housing organisations such as Woodlands in the West, and, the Crown Street regeneration programme in the Gorbals as well as the Merchant City central area of the city?

Rhythm and character of place has thus been created. The Merchant city area of Glasgow is Glasgow’s pre-eminent mixed-use space and represents a good example where the role of buildings has provided a platform for creating liveable neighbourhoods. Prior to the decision to invest, a number of negative aspects were affecting the area including the speculative practices of development interests (i.e. land-banking); ground-level car parks. In this area, there was no ‘community’ to speak of; the housing providers had basically used the area as housing of last resort for those in housing need from surrounding districts of the city: ‘There was no natural community – there was no kinship ties or networks here’. Three projects had been created for this area involving the re-use of existing buildings floorspace to create new facilities such as Café bar Gandolfi, refurbishment of a theatre (Trongate Britannia Musical)1 as well as the reinstatement of (active) retail frontages. These were restored and thus promoted the development of a quality urban realm in the area. Work done in the Gandolfi bar involved local artists (craftspeople such as furniture makers etc and the sourcing of artefacts) in which ideas were taken up before work on-site began. Significant in the development of these particular projects, was how financial leverage was achieved with direct leverage of £53 million (calculated from 2 x 5yr programmes has cost £6 million of investment) so the ratio has been huge. Both the use of local craftspeople combined with financial leverage has translated into jobs using local enterprises and skills.

1. This is the oldest working musical theatre in the UK.

Embedded in these neighbourhood redevelopments, their historic realms have been retained, and are residential mixed-use developments and mixed housing tenure. Combined with an emphasis on the importance of the public realm, active frontages signal to and invite people that there is vitality on the street. Glasgow’s Merchant City, creative regeneration. 6

Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction


However, has the singular focus on sustainable economic growth been at the expense of disregarding placemaking and architecture as important contributors to quality of life and places where people want to live, work and leisure? We have policies in place but is it making much of a contribution and impact on the maintenance and creation of places where people want to be? Currently, Scottish policy and guidance recognises that buildings are important and the spaces for interaction between them. However, roads and traffic we still, in this context, assume should be left to the civil engineers. There is an urgent need for more collaborative working to plan and deliver better places. The skills of the urban designer, public involvement and an understanding of development economics can help to drive the placemaking agenda forward. However, from the Chief Planner’s perspective, a number of challenges remain in relation to planning practice and the planning system. These are:

(Top) Delegates debate issues at the Academy of Urbanism Congress 2011. (Bottom) Professor Kevin Murray addresses delegates.

The culture of planning and planners still requires change - there is a need to move away from the compendium of policy producing plans.

Planning should not be about the purity of process but the quality of outcomes achieved.Maintaining collaborative effort to maintain liveable neighbourhoods should involve debates about urban design and not the wording of policy.

There is also the question of what the interface is between traditional planning and the new economy.

What about the differentiation and variability of place context and the dynamics and processes at work at different spatial scales? We need to accept that there are wider influences operating at different geographic scales which can reinforce and/or undermine the nature of places in an everyday context. Private finance can mobilised if they see the benefits of how that place may develop. Can specificity of place accommodate certain approaches and therefore should we be more concerned with how we deliver this rather than what we deliver? Are there competing tensions between the resilience and adaptability of place? Can liveable neighbourhoods be created and maintained as places where people will want to be? How?

“Physical settings – simple or complex – evoke complex human responses in the form of feelings, attitudes, values, expectancies, and desires, and it is in this sense as well as in their known physical properties that their relationships to human experience and behaviour must be understood.” (Proshanky et al 1970, p.28)



Community The theme of community is discussed here in relation to living, learning and working landscapes. As such, this obviates a need to discuss the economy given the link between this and learning and working within a liveable neighbourhoods context. This builds on some of the speaker presentations at the Congress and the break out workshop sessions. People inhabit cities, but people live in neighbourhoods - but what are neighbourhoods? Are they the correct scale for measuring and gauging the routinised everyday practices in which people conduct their daily life? In developing ‘liveable neighbourhoods’ as successful places is this more to do with how we think and perceive what they could be, rather than how they are actually currently conceived e.g. as socially-homogenous physically delineated ‘units’ or administratively defined boundaries. This is not entirely new as David Harvey once reminded us that ‘neighbourhood’ is implicit rather than explicit (1973). Participants discussed neighbourhood and how we define and understand it. For instance, neighbourhood is something we have an affinity with, a place of pride and has connections with ‘place’. A neighbourhood is to accept that you live in a house and the services and activities you require are located elsewhere or if not, you need to re-create functional relationships elsewhere. Is it folly to assume that the neighbourhood as creative spaces for learning, activities and interaction are important to people and if not, can we make neighbourhoods successful places so that they do become important? This is particularly significant for understanding the relationship between where we live and where we work, if they are in fact related at all. Often the separation between home and the workplace is symptomatic of the increasing mobility afforded by access to the private car allowing access to jobs located elsewhere other than the local neighbourhood. Evidence shows for instance that the amount of miles travelled between 1952 and 2002 has trebled. Other evidence suggests that higher income groups travel more than low income groups. In other words, adopting the language of spatial sciences, ‘space has got a lot bigger’. This reflects what has been termed the ‘hypermobile society’, (Adams, 2000). What are the challenges to our landscapes of work in reversing this long-established trend? ‘Politicians in all industrial countries struggle to apply technical fixes to the problems caused by increasing physical mobility. But even if we devise nonpolluting congestion-free modes of transport and all work from home we will still pay a very high price for mobility’, (Adams, 2000). Some commentators purport to the view that most placemakers ‘know nothing about the economy’. As the new economy strongly focuses on the creation and harnessing of ‘innovation’ as important to urban economies, there is a need to be aware of the scale of this: cities are drivers for innovation. One important


Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction


distinction between the urban geography of the UK and Germany for instance, is that London and the West of the country (e.g. city-regions), tend to dominate whereas in Germany, this is more evenly distributed across the country. As a result, we need to be careful about the perceived advantages of proximity, ‘We have few places of a scale sufficient to create the actors that strive in the creation of innovative ideas’. If we think about the places that nourish innovation then they will matter because proximity matters. Conversely, there are places that flourish when they are ‘left alone’: the unplanned places. For example, ‘Speirs Locks in Glasgow is a regeneration process that is developing through organic change.

This becomes more acute and urgent particularly in times of economic recession where labour market disadvantage is accentuated due to for example, low skills attainment. Material and socio-psychological factors thus influence how people behave. If people can be elevated then, this will bring about behavioural changes. Socio-cultural disadvantages refer to values and in particular, ‘value-oriented personal values’. A key question is where and how can we invest our money given these disadvantages?

Spiers Locks in Glasgow perhaps represents an example of letting individuals within communities do things for themselves but supported by the public sector. In terms of spaces within neighbourhoods, the public sector provides an enabling role for local people to access cheap and adaptable spaces. In fact, this was a very common theme that ran throughout the various discussions and examples are provided here. Various sub-themes emerged including the role of local assets whether this is people, spaces or buildings, social entrepreneurship and ideas of community ownership and the role of capital investment.

People are considered the most important assets of a neighbourhood. Why? While other assets such as social and capital infrastructure are also important, there is a general consensus that to find creative people in neighbourhoods, we must ‘get nosey’ and ‘loiter with intent’. We cannot take as given that those who claim to represent the community are the ones who instinctively know what the community wants. We need to ‘get inside’. While the role of the third sector is often regarded as being more trustworthy and in tune than the large government bureaucracies, some suggest that even this sector emulates the practices of the public sector – to an extent. Is there an alternative? In some sense, this chimes with ideas about the positive role and/or contribution of social capital in maintaining and sustaining communities or neighbourhoods. But it is necessary to be clear what we understand by social capital in the context of ‘liveable neighbourhoods’ and placemaking.

“Place is security, space is freedom: we are attached to the one and long for the other…From the security and stability of place we are aware of the openness, freedom and threat of space, and vice-versa… ‘Space’ is more abstract than ‘place’. What begins as undifferentiated space becomes place as we get to know it better and endow it with value…Space is transformed into place as it acquires definition and meaning” (Tuan, 1987, pps. 3; 6; 136).

Changing Glasgow


Key questions might involve asking whether we should be using neighbourhood level assets and spaces better and how we might achieve this? Does this invite a process where we ought to be less concerned with the dependent relationship neighbourhoods have with the macro processes in which cities configure themselves? Will successful places be more about the micro processes that actually develop at the neighbourhood scale and can learning from place reinforce a shift in thinking about how communities can be better helped to help themselves? This is, of course, not a new idea but many would agree that there is urgency in the need to elevate individuals at the micro level of the neighbourhood in creating successful places. As the ‘urban’ is essentially a dynamic and complex system of interactions, how can we integrate the elevation of people within this? The socio-economic status of individuals and therefore behaviours, have strong links to well-being and if we can improve the socioeconomic output at the micro level then this will feedback into the macro. Do we need to turn our ways of doing things inside out? For example, low levels of education, poor health and unemployment when combined result in those remaining vulnerable to the cycle of social, cultural and structural disadvantages.

‘The core assets of making liveable neighbourhoods is the people already living there’

Lin argues that if the premise behind the notion of social capital is, ‘investment in social relations with expected returns in the marketplace’, then this appears quite simple and straightforward (Lin, 2001, p.19). The market chosen for analysis may be economic, political, labour or community. Capital captured through social relations is an approach wherein capital is seen as a social asset by virtue of actors’ connections and access to resources in the network or group of which they are members (Lin, 2001, p.19). This suggests that embedded resources in social networks can enhance the outcomes of actions . While there are different and converging conceptualisations of social capital, the most appropriate perspective relative to the level at which return or profit is conceived is how the aggregate of individual returns also benefits the collective, in this case, the community or neighbourhood. More specifically, and for our purpose, this perspective can be extended to focus at the group level. This is concerned with how certain groups develop and more or less maintain social capital as a collective asset and, how such a collective asset enhances group members’ life chances. The central interest of this perspective is to explore the elements and processes in the production and maintenance of the collective asset (Lin, 2001, p.22).

Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction

People: place assets.


“The future is inside out and it’s all about tapping energy and enterprise. Everybody brings something to the party... but how do we create an environment that gets real about who has what? That’s about moving beyond theories about social equality and fairness. It’s about people’s capability skills. Human beings are fundamentally creative.”

Lord Andrew Mawson, Speaking at Glasgow Congress


Because modern organisations are governed by rules, there are accepted procedures for making decisions and responsibilities are often defined in terms of a position rather than a person (Field, 2003). But when they want to make something happen, many people will bypass these procedures and responsibilities and talk to someone they know. This is especially true when there is an element of uncertainty and risk involved when taking important decisions: outcomes can be better and things move faster than if they were to deal with bureaucracies (Field, 2003). Given this, in relation to people assets, the collective here is the overall neighbourhood and both the community and economic markets are the ‘marketplace’. ‘The butterflies started to appear’ There were some excellent examples given by Lord Mawson where he charted the development of social capital in relation to how a local church was adapted for community use and eventually, community ownership and capital investment. In one example, ownership of local community assets was allowed to happen as the local council permitted Andrew ‘to develop some greenspace on a tarmac site behind the church’. He bought the site for £1 (30 year lease) from the council on the condition that he maintained it – which he did. He eventually started to doing gardening for local people who saw how successful he had made this derelict site. Deepening working relationships with other locals appeared and persisted over time. From taking ownership, the gardening turned into a landscape business, Greendreams. A barn was eventually built with the capital investment and now houses 37 local businesses (micro-small enterprises). An international business recognised the good work of the landscape business and a relationship was built. This example shows how bridging capital was developed from the existence and establishment of local networks (social enterprise + business). ‘If people are not part of the core creation of an area, they will rubbish it. The future is inside out and it’s all about tapping energy and enterprise. Everybody brings something to the party…but how do we create an environment that gets real about who has what? That’s about moving beyond theories about social equality and fairness. It’s about people’s capability skills. Human beings are fundamentally creative.’ If workplaces are to thrive then they need form a part of the neighbourhood but this also requires that neighbourhoods have to have some essential and optional services to enable people to socialise and eat. How you create agreeable places is very important. How do we creatively support grassroots business start up and social innovation? How do we support scaling of enterprise? Is there a need for enterprise agencies and business support organisations to reach out and engage with social innovation businesses? Are they aware of the potential of this model?

Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction

(Top) Lord Andrew Mawson (Middle) Ian Manson, Chief Executive, Clyde Gateway (Bottom) Gerry Grams, City Design leader, Glasgow 15

Criteria based assessment of business support can mean that micro business opportunities ‘fall through the cracks’. We need to become more enabling. For some there is a lot of frustration at how institutions work given the appetite for grassroots approaches. Entrepreneurs have to make the economic case for doing something. If you make an investment in a place, the benefits may not be apparent to the investor. This highlights that there is need to develop pathways for identifying how the investment has benefited the place. In other words, it is not a linear path. The idea that spaces in places should be left for people to do what they want to do chimes with the example noted above by Lord Mawson. Another example is the Clyde Gateway (URC) who tidied up the sites, cleaned the shops and opened a shop in the community center. In the workshops the idea of leaving ‘holes’ in the urban fabric to be colonised by the community was suggested. This idea was referred to as ‘derelict incubators’, suggesting that while this may not be tidy, it works for community benefit. In other words, spaces need not be planned in all places. Is there some merit in the idea of spontaneous cities where development is at plot level? An eco-system approach would entail an area identified as a ‘district centre’ wherein once the central point is located, development cold then graduate outwards to the next area. From the experience provided by Employers in Voluntary Housing (EVH), they realised that they had the potential to do more. They had learned a lot of what is being done, is essential to good health in the community, the promotion of social cohesion, social capital, relationships of trust and mutuality. This they argued contributed to the mental well being of people in these communities. This reinforced the view that in uncertain times, this progress in the community dimension should not be dismissed in the push for greater efficiency. Therefore, the aim should be about recognizing and retaining what is good in the existing roles of providers and participants, and that this was not just about housing providers managing the physical aspects of the environment. Things should be done in an inclusive and participatory fashion, ensuring that the real issues in these communities are addressed and identified whilst encouraging local people in the contributions they make.

on their own terms through a self-organised event. For instance, in one example, 50 web designers were ‘locked in a room to see what happens’. From that 30 ideas for projects with business potential emerged and from this, some of those projects have already ‘gone to market’. Meeting people on their own terms was also reported by another participant whose experience had shown that this is a ‘very efficient way of dealing with things’. Other examples reported on the idea of latent and expedient proximity. The relevance of these concepts to community become apparent if we think of the school playground as a space for networking. The potential of this space has yet to be realised as somewhere that people can share ideas and values. Schools already provide the ‘shared connection’ by virtue of your child attending school. If the neighbourhood is not the place for the creation of social and shared spaces, then the alternative is that we need to be more creative in making sense of the spatiality of cities. A key question then is how do we nurture shared or common spaces? This idea has antecedents in the role of the high street as the traditional place for interaction within a shared space. The idea that the high street or town centres are in crisis illustrates the dilemma: the need to protect and increase choice and competition in the interests of the consumer whilst at the same time ensuring the continued vitality and viability of the high street where independent shops for example, normally occupy. Could town centres be reimagined as shared spaces? What matters is the diversity of activities at the centre.

‘We already have community organisations that are already anchored but can they do more? Why can’t more organisations get the assistance and help to do that? We must relate to their individual communities and the issues that there are there - the only way to do that is to give local people the opportunity to contribute and to participate’. A key theme was related to how we now get started to unlocking that potential? Specific examples alluded to the idea that assets of the neighbourhood need to be better connected. One way of doing this is to ‘hang out’ with local people


Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction


The psychology of place Have we been tolerant of an approach or situation where it is ‘people versus place’ – where policies for places have and are being defended as strategies for enabling policies for people? (Castello, 2010) In recognising this, as the economic perspective on cities has gathered momentum over the previous 30 years, the transformation of cities from ‘basket cases’ of the preceding decades to key drivers of competitive city-regions has been characterised by various phases of economic and physical development activity. In particular, the visual evidence and perceptible outcomes of activities must be seen and importantly, understood. They can be seen in relation to positive or negative changes, their urban form, improvements or decline in the quality of the public realm, urban design and the overall urban fabric. All-encompassing and embracing terms such as ‘urban renewal’ and ‘urban regeneration’ towards ‘urban renaissance’ and now what we may call, ‘reconstruction’ describe the various approaches taken to arresting and addressing urban neighbourhood decline. Does the micro scale deserve more credit for how it underpins and serves the success of macro processes which operate at the higher spatial scale of cities? What are the elements at the micro level that create liveable neighbourhoods? What are the challenges and opportunities for this to be realised and what can our understanding of learning from place contribute to the achievement of successful places? The psychology of place is basically about addressing how our local environment of the place where we live, work and leisure affects our cognitive and perceptible processes of the brain. These in turn will shape how we will behave and function in a place. The psychology of place matters as the quality of the spaces that we move around in can affect us without us even being aware that it is affecting us. Nervous systems can be affected by how we feel in a place when we experience the place and its environment. For example, anxieties and fears may develop if you do not feel ‘safe’ in an area. Why you do not feel safe can for example, be because of a lack of attention to design and quality of spaces including street layout, accessibility, and how spaces intersect with buildings and roads. Some elements of this ‘objective stimuli’ affect sight, tactile sensations are transmitted by contact with the materials used for construction of the place, smells enable the identification of places, coolness or warmth accurately quality a place, some places are harmonious and others unbearably noisy, and some can stimulate or whet the appetite so the physical form then plays a determining role in perceptual phenomena (Castello, 2010).


Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction


Health and liveability Life expectancy is determined by many factors including lifestyle choices and behaviours, genetics and hereditary conditions. It is also informed by an individual’s real and perceived opportunities – their sense of control and hopefulness. In the latter, the effects of deindustrialization and subsequent unemployment are particularly relevant to the Glasgow story of low life expectancy in parts of the city. The context of neighbourhoods is important because it is the spatial framework people use to access health opportunities. Although there are a number of projects which have seen large-scale investment in understanding why Glasgow’s health record is the worst in Europe, e.g. the GoWell programme1, systematic evidence of any skewed distribution in access to health-improving resources is variable. Connecting and mining the numerous datasets that exist for communities provides incredible scope to understand the relationship between aspects of the physical environment and health. However, there is a need for the development of robust methodologies to support the maintenance and creation of healthier places. Research using the Mental Health and Wellbeing Score (MenWB), has found that aspects and attractiveness of the local environment is a factor in how people feel and perceive place and their well-being. Factors such as spatial structure and walkability matter greatly in this regard. Is there some scope for The Academy for instance, to provide input and ideas to effect a model of change? Health and Housing ‘Life’s a drudge with an outside cludge and an inside loo is a joy for you!’ The connections between place, housing and health are well known. In Scotland, Employers in Voluntary Housing (EVH) work with 140 social housing providers, 40 social enterprises and charities. They have set up nine Community-based housing associations (CBHAs) over 30 years ago. This movement came out of a reaction to the poor living conditions of the tenemental building in the post war period. Practical action by communities to improve sanitation, the physical condition of housing emerged when adapting the tenements that existed in neighbourhoods like Govan and Maryhill. Over time, through different programmes of investment, this process of working with communities, organising investment around local need resulted in re-imagining the traditional tenement building, in schemes such as Crown Street in the Gorbals. EVH now have in Glasgow alone, 50 community-led housing associations (HAs). These have between them over 50,000 houses. In broad terms, Housing Associations have moved on from a focus on physical improvements to deal with the ‘real’ issues in the communities. These actions are about community services, led by citizens or communities, enabled by the Housing Associations and a creative use of the assets they own and manage. The role of Community


1) see GoWell was established in 2006 and is planned to run for 10 years. This timescale allows the programme to examine a range of neighbourhood, housing and health related factors at different stages of the regeneration process. Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction


Based Housing Associations has expanded to consider wider issues affecting local neighbourhoods including the quality of the environment, life, services and attractiveness as well as antisocial behaviour, and challenging social issues like addiction. This is resulting in a new broad range of activities including support services, skills and training, pathways to employment and co-design of community services with institutions such as Local Authorities and health professionals. As Foster Evans of EVH says ‘It’s about sustainability of their local areas - not just housing’. The argument put forward by community associations and health professionals suggests that liveability of local places can be improved by effective community involvement at the grassroots: tenants . For instance, EVH reported that as a matter of course, housing organisations get people to be involved through employability schemes such as working on the local allotments; or the establishment of walking clubs. Examples of this type of initiative, targeting the development of positive psychology, have been developed in Glasgow’s Easterhouse. The key challenge is about how people can get involved in their local community. This is about developing sustainability and long term communities, not just housing solutions.

Integrating policy: health and places In Table 2 below, the key determinants of health are set out. This shows the relationship and connections between the individual and the collective determinants of health and their internal and external dimensions. A better understanding of these determinants can inform better policy interventions to support opportunities for better health in all places. Table 2: Key Determinants of Health TABLE 2




Characteristics of self

Physical world


Shared values and culture

Social Structures and economy (e.g. social capital)

In Scotland, social housing predominates in the poorest 15% of the population. Long term health and illness issues are entrenched in these places. However, there is hope. Foster Evans says ‘We already have the model, an existing resource but how can we do more with achieving good services to build better communities and support better health? The answer is about the specifics of place, citizen participation and partnerships: Changing housing landscapes in Glasgow.

‘Better health unlocks potential and social landlords can act as a centre of gravity and act to provide a structural solution to these issues and look to improve the physical, social and eco environment’.

Experiencing the Lighthouse, Congress 2011 venue. 22

Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction


A key question to examine in the creation of liveable neighbourhoods and their relationship to health is why are there inequalities between places? these can be about place

and these can also be about lifestyles (e.g. smoking)

But none of these are sufficient enough to explain the observed inequalities. Is there then some merit in looking at these issues in terms of the context of place and the composition of the individual within this context of place? The view is that everything matters as it is not just one factor than determine health outcomes or behaviours. It is a combination of factors and it is how we translate this into a useful and meaningful policy. The Scottish Government’s Good Places: Better Health initiative considers an environmental focus to addressing the framing of joined up place based policies to support healthier communities. This policy requires a co-ordinated response across all agencies working in a place, and partnership with the local community. This form of initiative is emerging in response to a move to support preventative spend, a focus on achieving outcomes earlier which last longer. Citizen participation is central to making this form of initiative work. There are many policies that address the physical context (i.e. the environmental context) into which the individual must relate; but there are also a number of policies which address the external and collective determinants of social structure and the economy. However, whilst it is often assumed that these interventions will make a positive impact on the internal aspects of health(both individual and collective), achieving impacts through policy is often difficult and challenging. In part this has to do with concepts of space, communities and neighbourhoods: these ideas are not hard and fast boundaries - these are actually permeable membranes. Impacts can be better achieved where policies move between these structures Policy efforts need to be all joined up to make this happen. This is challenging, and requires spatial designers to try and understand better how to achieve actual outcomes in partnership with health professionals and communities. Language matters to effect this form of collaboration. It may be that new forms of design practice and thinking are needed to make this happen.

(Top) Alistair MacDonald, Glasgow City Council. (Bottom) Glasgow’s East End Regeneration.

In addition to the homes, streets, businesses and parks in our neighbourhood, the public sector services play a big part in supporting communities and framing the physical environment. The way such public services are being provided in communities is changing. Historically, health services where organised around GPs and hospitals; and disease was most often resolved either by cure or death. Today, as treatments improve and life expectancy increases, there are many more people living with long term conditions. This is requiring a fundamental shift in healthcare policy and strategy with a greater focus on preventative measures, on self care and on services being provided closer to home, often in close co-


Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction


ordination with related public services such as social care, housing, education etc. This change is embodied in the Scottish Government’s ‘Shifting the Balance of Care’ policy. Whilst there is often close working between health boards and local authorities on health promotion and service planning, the same cannot yet be said about the planning of physical infrastructure to support health in LDP’s or major new development areas.

Exploring the potential of urbanism to creative liveable neighbourhoods.


The Planning profession grew out of a health promotion agenda, and the NHS are again looking to us to help both in resolving obesity issues (i.e. healthy planning and obsogenics) and in the development of community infrastructure to support the changing model of service provision. Many services that had once been hospital based are now being delivered in the community, based around neighbourhood facilities servicing a population of 20-70,000 people depending on the location. For some services this means peripatetic teams from hospitals visiting neighbourhood facilities to provide consultations and treatment, in other instances services are provided in schools and the home. These neighbourhood facilities not only link different levels of healthcare but also link to other public services allowing new opportunities such as a GP referral to the swimming pool for weight control or physiotherapy; easier access to a library for information about your condition, or helping resolve a housing or social work support issue whilst you’re visiting. These ‘multi-transactions’ are surprisingly powerful, such as a woman who reported her relief in being able to see a police officer discretely whilst attending a child health clinic as she’d have been unable to safely visit a police station. These service changes of course require different infrastructure to support them. Whereas previously we might have dotted a GP surgery, dentist, library, sports centre, council office etc around the neighbourhood, there is now a drive for them to be together. The connections between home and ‘hub’ and hospital become critically important too, especially as for many people the walkable solution may not be possible; a doctor doing outreach from a hospital, or a nurse visiting homes, each with supplies and case notes are not likely to use public transport; similarly ill people visiting the treatment centre may not be up to the walk/bus. Therefore the challenge to planners and urban designers alike is to accommodate the increased scale of public sector activity within our neighbourhoods. If we fail in this challenge we may force public sector services to the periphery of communities and undermine the other things we are trying to do with health promotion and enlivening our community centres.

“We must relate to individual communities and the issues that there are there - the only way to do this is to give local people the opportunity to contribute and to participate.” Foster Evans, Employers in Voluntary Housing


Making things happen in a recession What is distinctive about contemporary perspectives on urban places is the increasing emphasis attached to the ‘reconstruction’ of neighbourhoods. But what do we mean by reconstruction? It suggests something has broken down, been destroyed and needs rebuilt whether physically and/or socially. If it is to describe the development activities within places, then this is not entirely new as the ‘reconstruction’ has historical precedents typified in the UK (and mainland Europe) post-war rebuild programmes during the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s and accompanied by the establishment of a comprehensive welfare state. Reconstruction in the contemporary context of economic recession can apply to all manner of things in reconstructing living neighbourhoods. But, does its increasing salience within contemporary debates by urban scholars, practitioners and government bodies on the importance of placemaking signify - and therefore imply - that neighbourhoods are and must be understood from a qualitatively and quantitatively different perspective than has hitherto been recognised? In the neighbourhood stories, Arie Voorburg introduced how Rotterdam is making efforts to retain social equality and ethics in an age of austerity. He argues that the idea of urban development is not complex – not even in a world of complexity and dynamic change. As he puts it, ‘it is about tweaking the right knobs’ with the central question of ‘how do we find the right knobs – that’s the only thing we need to do’. For him, the new apartheid is social and economic exclusion which is much harder. In a similar way to evidence presented on Glasgow’s poor life expectancy, shorter life expectancy in Rotterdam’s deprived neighbourhoods is 5 to 12 years less than the more affluent or high income neighbourhoods of the city. Again, while not totally dissimilar to Glasgow’s levels of (dispersed) concentrated neighbourhood deprivation, Rotterdam South, while accounting for half of the city, there are 1500 projects which focus on cultural and social interventions. This leads him to believe that there is a ‘managerial neurosis’ due to the carousel of many ineffective projects. The ‘missing intensity and coherence of programmes’ represents an accumulation of problems resulting in hopelessness: ‘It’s inequality, poverty, injustice and polarisation which makes our neighbourhoods not very vital for their long term future’. In an era of declining financial capacity, how do we save on our social and economic inequality and ethics? With budgetary cuts in social investment programmes including health and welfare, Voorburg argues that these are the most effective incentives to focus efforts on. As such, he recommends three things that need to be thought about: 1. Cities as complex, adaptive systems. Cities are not stable – they are continually changing and are non-linear. That is, cities are complex systems always balancing on the edge of chaos. There is not a strict equilibrium, it is never found. It is always about the internal coherence of functional elements and the capacities for adjustments. There is a tangled web of connectivity differentiated


Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction


quote page... coevolving of sub-systems, an ability to change and continuous adaptation is emergent given multi-causal phenomena. As such, 2. This means that urban design must have a much bigger adaptive capacity and this must be about the ability of the system to adjust to, for example, climate change. There is a certainty about resilience and importantly, it’s also about social acceptability and convertibility; moreover, it is also about expendability – the possibility to remove things. 3. Importance has to be given to the costs and benefits as well as the efficiency and balance and especially on social investments such as health and education and social care. Too often these are seen as costs heavily weighted on budgets and rarely seen as investments. A key challenge for the Netherlands is the financial organisational structures. They are not prepared for the change and to accept that social interventions now will produce long-term benefits – financial and monetary benefits. In seeking what is effective, we need to ‘walk the walk’ by accepting reality means that there is no more a mono-causal relationship, i.e. that if something is changed then there will be whole causal change within the whole system. In the following three components, urban development of neighbourhood developments must be much more focused on the: 1.

Requirement for much more ‘clearer strategic intents’ and,

2. Social and physical environment of the neighbourhood must be much more closely related for development but also looking at the possibility of the, 3.

Individuals’ potentials. These can be hereditary and/or acquired.

(Top) Arie Voorburg discusses social capital and regeneration. (Bottom) Workshop session and discussion on jobs and economy.


“Successful urban development is about tweaking the right knobs.” Arie Voorburg

3. Conclusion: The future is now! From the Congress dialogues, several overarching themes emerging from the various presentations, discussions and workshops can be identified. These were placemaking, community engagement and health and liveability. A number of issues were also identified which signify the ongoing challenges and influences that the creation of liveable neighbourhoods must contend with. These included an appreciation of the spatial scale creating neighbourhoods as spaces of work in a new economy which emphasises a focus on the creation of innovation. In relation to the Scottish context of placemaking, challenges remain in planning practice and the planning system in particular. If the current system and practice produces unintentional consequences as measured by policy outcomes, then the process in which policy implementation is realised requires ongoing work. Not to do so will potentially undermine the achievements made so far in maintaining the momentum for collaborative efforts viewed as essential elements in creating and maintaining liveable neighbourhoods. Moreover, too often the contribution of architecture and design is viewed as perhaps as second order issue over much focus placed on technological solutions to the important challenges of climate change. Community engagement is crucial for the creation of liveable neighbourhoods. The dialogues reveal a general consensus that how institutions engage with communities and individuals needs to change. Identifying the creators of liveable neighbourhoods necessitates an approach that ‘gets inside’ communities in order that the creativity of individuals who live there can be identified, encouraged and realised. Only by such an approach can we move away from traditional methods of engagement and involvement as set out in top-down consultation processes. Evidence from participants through drawing on their own experiences shows that the realisation of desired outcomes stipulated in policy plans are often not achieved within an approach that simply engages with community representatives. Consultation cannot be done to communities and instead requires to be undertaken with communities. Doing things ‘inside out’ may impact positively on both the micro and macro level processes of cities and neighbourhoods. They can act to shape, reinforce, and therefore determine the future pathways of a neighbourhood’s and individuals’ future. Finally, the theme of health and liveability revealed how the importance of health status can transcend many other - albeit no less important - issues such as unemployment. Understanding the connections between the key determinants of health, health inequalities and health outcomes within and between places are important for the creation and maintenance of liveable neighbourhoods. While health promotion and prevention programmes can prove effective at the scale of the neighbourhood via for example, improved access to health education and services, tackling health-related behaviours to effect change in health outcomes is much more challenging for policy. Increasingly policy is aiming towards


Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction


preventative care, early intervention and holistic thinking about wellbeing. Not only does this reflect an awareness of the nature of the relationship between health, housing and place but also a wider recognition that services generally need to engage better with the local physical environment and institutional context in which services are provided. Through improving institutional join up at this level, a better understanding of both the environmental and compositional contexts of individuals in places could help to achieve improved health outcomes for all. Currently, there is no systematic evidence of a skewed distribution in the availability and provision of health services. However, there are a number of ongoing research programmes on the social and physical determinants of health inequalities and health-inducing behaviours focused at the neighbourhood scale. Two key conclusions are how the combination of factors that determine health can be translated into meaningful policy and, how might the design and architecture of places contribute to this. What is it that requires change in order to make this happen? How will we know what a successful place is and will we be able to replicate this as a prototype to be rolled out in all places? For instance, if we had a list of 10 qualities of place what would we do with it? What would this place be like? Castello questions what kind of experiences are involved in the ‘construct’ of place? (2010, p.61). Consideration needs to be given to the whole set of physical, perceptual, cognitive, psychological and social experiences. But what kind of operational tools can lead us to better understanding of the psycho-spatial phenomena of the urban environment? As Castello has further suggested, ‘The interaction between behaviour and environment demands the construction of a suitable paradigm for giving objective and subjective parameters to place’, (2010, p.61). This is already well underway in the placemaking agenda. It is how we now devise and deliver the necessary tools and action on the ground that will make liveable neighbourhoods a reality for all individuals.


Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction


Bibliography Adams, J., (2000), ‘Hypermobility’, Prospect Magazine, (March 2000 issue) Castello, L., (2010), ‘Rethinking the Meaning of Place: Conceiving Place in Architecture-Urbanism’, Ashgate Fanstein, S., (2001), The City Builders: Property Development in New York and London, 1980-2000, 2nd Ed., Lawrence, KA: The University Press of Kansas Field, J., (2003), Social Capital, Routledge Harvey, D., (1973), Social Justice and the City, Edward Arnold Jacobs, J., (1961), The Death and Life of Great American Cities: The Failure of Town Planning, Random House, New York Lin, N., (2001), Social Capital: A Theory of Social Structure and Action, CUP Mclennan. D., (2011), in Chisolm, S., (Ed), in ‘Investing in Better Places: International Perspectives’, The Smith Institute, found at NRU, (2001), A New Commitment to Neighbourhood Renewal: National Strategy Action Plan, (The Social Exclusion Unit), UK Cabinet Office Proshansky, H., Ittelson, W. & Rivlin, L., (1970), The Influence of the Physical Environment on Behaviour: Some Basic Assumptions, in Proshansky, H., Ittelson, W. & Rivlin, L., (Eds), ‘Environmental Psychology: Man and His Physical Setting’, New York: Halt-Rinehart & Winston Tuan, Y-F., (1987), Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience, Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press, 4th Printing Wood, R.C., (1995), People Versus Places: The Dream Will Never Die, in Caves, R., (Ed), ‘Exploring Urban America, An Introductory Reader’, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pps.137-144 Porta, S., Strano, E., Iacoviello, V., Messora, R., Latora, V., Cardillo, A., Wang F. & Scellato, S., (2009), Street Centrality and Densities of Retail and Services in Bologna, Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 36, 450-465.

All images are credited to John Thompson, Honorary President, The Academy of Urbanism, except A+DS credits: pages 6,7, 12 [top and mid], 13 [top and mid], 22,24,25, 28 and 35 Gary Watt, ISIS: page 12, bottom


Appendix 2: About the report authors

Appendix 1: Sponsors The Academy of Urbanism are very grateful for the support and contribution of all the sponsors who made the Glasgow Congress a success: Glasgow City Council The vision of Glasgow City Council is to enable Glasgow to flourish as a modern, multi-cultural, metropolitan city of opportunity, achievement, culture and sporting excellence where citizens and businesses thrive and visitors are always welcomed. Scottish Government The devolved government for Scotland is responsible for most of the issues of day-to-day concern to the people of Scotland. The Scottish Government’s purpose is to ‘focus government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth. Clyde Gateway URC Clyde Gateway URC are a specially created urban regeneration company covering 840 hectares across the east end of Glasgow, including Bridgeton and Dalmarnock, plus Rutherglen and Shawfield in South Lanarkshire. The URC is a partnership with Glasgow City Council, South Lanarkshire Council, and Scottish Enterprise - with Scottish Government. Architecture and Design Scotland Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS) is Scotland’s champion for excellence in placemaking, architecture and planning. We are an Executive NDPB of the Scottish Government. We champion the highest standards in architecture and placemaking across all sectors. Glasgow Merchant City Townscape Heritage Initiative Funded by Glasgow City Council, Scottish Enterprise and the Heritage Lottery Fund this £3 million grant scheme was aimed at owners of historic buildings within a designated area of the Merchant City.

Architecture and Design Scotland The Congress was supported and co-facilitated by Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS). As a non-departmental public body, it is the Scottish Government’s national champion for good architecture, design and planning in the built environment. The aim of A+DS is to promote excellence in placemaking, architecture and planning. It achieves this by supporting the creation of places that work, which provide people with real choices and, are ultimately, places where people want to be. It champions the highest standards in architecture and placemaking across all sectors, advocating a better understanding of the importance of quality design in both the public and private sectors. A+DS does this by working through its established programmes to champion excellence and advocate the benefits of excellence in design. A+DS has six programmes of work which move across the themes and scales of placemaking. They are: urbanism, design review, Sustainability in Architecture [Sust], Access to Architecture, Schools and Health.

The Academy of Urbanism The concept and background to the Academy of Urbanism Congress VI theme of ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction’ builds on the work of the Academy in identifying, learning and celebrating what makes for successful ‘places’. ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods’ forms an integral part of the Academy’s ongoing work in promoting dialogue, discourse, debate, exchange of good practice, stimulating research and importantly, to celebrate achievement. The major mission of the Academy is learning from place and this is communicated in a number of ways including publication of books and working with places particularly the finalists of the ‘Great Places’ awards e.g. the 2011 Freiburg Charter launched by the Academy in March 2011. The Academy has a number of initiatives and programmes which it has set up to promote learning from place. The Cities X-Rays initiative is concerned with the examining and measuring both empirically but also in terms of stories, narratives and visits to places. The aim of Cities X-Rays is to ‘get the under the skin’ of places in order to understand, interpret appreciate and explain place to people emphasising that ‘place’ is not just about physicality. For 2011-2012, the Place Partnering Initiative is being developed and represents a new way of working with towns, communities and neighbourhoods. This builds on existing initiatives already underway in different parts of the UK (e.g. UniverCities Initiative of which the Glasgow Urban Lab is an exemplar).

Glasgow School of Art The GSA is internationally recognised as one of Europe’s foremost higher education institutions for creative education and research in fine art, design and architecture.


Liveable Neighbourhoods: Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction


Appendix 3: Congress Programme Table 1 below displays information on the Congress Speakers for each theme and the organisations they represent. Table 1: Congress Event Speakers and Organisations




Welcome to Glasgow (Speech)

Bailie Liz Cameron

Executive Member for Development and Regeneration Services, Glasgow City Council

Introduction to Glasgow

Alistair MacDonald


PARALLEL WORKSHOPS: Contemporary Neighbourhood Planning F: Sam Cassels

AoU, Architecture and Design Scotland

AoU, Head of Planning, Glasgow city Council

Lesley Thomson

Director Lidell Thomson

Kevin Murray

AoU Chairman

Janice Kirkpatrick

Graven Images

F: Janette Harkess

Glasgow Vision

Gerry Gormal

Executive Director, Glasgow City Council

The National Perspective

Jim McKinnon

Chief Planner, The Scottish Government

Rohan Gunatillake

Director of Policy and Research, Scottish Council for Development and Industry Innovation Producer and Consultant

Social Entrepreneurs: Making Communities Work

Lord Andrew Mawson

Director, Andrew Mawson Partnerships

John Lord

Yellowbook Ltd.


Professor Brian Evans

AoU, Head of Urbanism, Mackintosh School of Architecture

George Morris

Scientific Advisor to Scottish Government, Good Places Better Health

Clyde Gateway and the Commonwealth Games

Ian Manson

Chief Executive, Clyde Gateway Urban Regeneration Company

Heather Chapple


Foster Evans

Director, Employers in Voluntary Housing

F: Prof Brian Evans

AoU, Head of Urbanism, Mackintosh School of Architecture AoU, Mackintosh School of Architecture Group Manager Glasgow City Council

Regenerating Existing Neighbourhoods

Liz Davidson

Project Manager, Merchant City Townscape Heritage Initiative (Glasgow)

GoWell Neighbourhoods

Carol Tannahill

The Glasgow Centre for Population and Health

Financing Social Renewal

Arie Voorburg



John Worthington (Chair)


How do Neighbourhoods Learn?

Neighbourhoods as Spaces of Work

Living Neighbourhoods

City Visioning

Prof Brian Porter Cathy Johnston Keynote: Learning from Lebanon

Angus Gavin

Urban Development Divisional Head, Solidere

Note: F = Facilitator



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Academy of Urbanism Final Dec 11  

Renaissance, Regeneration and Reconstruction. The Academy of Urbanism Annual Congress VI 11-13th May 2011, The Lighthouse, Glasgow, Scotland...