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IMPORTANCE OF NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY DOCUMENTS The Clydebank re-built project team and officials in the local authority felt that the emphasis of design in policy documents was invaluable in the creation of high quality places. They felt that the design of roads has a significant impact on the quality of the place and that the recent ‘Designing Streets’ policy will assist in discussion with the transportation department. EXPLAIN PLACEMAKING The current emphasis on placemaking has raised the discussion of design to new levels incorporating economic, community and management aspects. Design professionals have difficulty in agreeing a common understanding of placemaking and hence they have difficulty in explaining it to politicians, stakeholders and the community. AREA SPECIFIC APPROACH TO CONSULTATION One of Clydebank re-built’s four strategic objectives is to ensure the involvement of residents, businesses and workers in Clydebank in the regeneration process. Most don’t work or live in the derelict riverside area. Clydebank re-built has developed a database of over 800 individuals who meet together as the Clydebank Design Forum and are involved in seminars, workshops and learning visits. Meetings usually have around 100 people present and it is this group whom Clydebank re-built and partners use to develop the plan and to monitor its progression. MAINTAINING THE LONG TERM VIEW Regeneration of an area this size is likely to take 30 years. It is critical to be realistic about this and to maintain financial support, for an adequate period of time, until the regeneration becomes self-sustaining. In the current economic climate the pressure to accept a building use and form which undermines the long term quality of Place is more difficult to resist. ESTABLISHING OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL MECHANISMS One of the main issues for Clydebank re-built is the lack of land ownership, without which it is difficult to drive projects. While planning and policy guidelines are a major development tool, Clydebank re-built has continuously worked to secure ownership of strategic sites. This has been achieved on 16 acres of the riverside through planning gain but is an ongoing problem as large tracts of riverside land still lie derelict, 11 years after being acquired by private owners.


The Urban Regeneration Companies (URC) are special purpose vehicles set up to deliver complex regeneration projects - attracting and coordinating public and private sector investment around a shared plan with the aim of achieving the sustainable transformation of their areas.

Architecture Policy Designing Streets PAN 59 Improving Town Centres PAN 65 Planning & Open Space PAN 81 Community Engagement PAN 83 Masterplanning OTHER CASE STUDY THEMES:

Clyde Gateway: Integrated Urban Infrastructure Irvine Bay: Re-making a Scottish Coastal Neighbourhood PARC Craigmillar: Creating a Street Raploch: Village Square at the heart of the Community Riverside Inverclyde: ReImagining Place Assets


GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LOCAL AUTHORITY IS CRITICAL Clydebank re-built has a very good working relationship with West Dunbartonshire Council including a local authority Officers’ Forum for the regeneration area, with all disciplines represented. This enables good communication and a consistent position to be presented to the development industry. Inherent in this is local political and senior council officers’ support to ensure that personnel and resources are available.


The URCs in Scotland have committed to the placemaking agenda. This is one of a series of case studies looking at URC initiatives which have been chosen to reflect a variety of projects in term of scale, type and stage. The purpose of the case studies is to share evidence from these initiatives in delivering places by design. They are presented in terms of key lessons and challenges to: Showcase the achievements of the URCs Provide Scottish examples of how place making policy

has been implemented

Assist learning on what works and why

HAVING AN EFFECTIVE PROCUREMENT PROCESS There was frustration at the challenges posed by the current procurement rules to the appointment of good designers with a knowledge of the area at fee levels which enable them to provide the required quality of service. CHALLENGE OF CHANGING THE PERCEPTION OF AN AREA It has been difficult to shake off the perception of Clydebank as a derelict and deprived area. Since Clydebank re-built started its work, perceptions are changing, the retail heart has been acquired by an ambitious developer and the housing developer interest has improved for the riverside. A number of prestigious design awards have also assisted in raising the profile.

Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire


The learning in this case study is targeted at anyone who is involved in the planning, funding and delivery of places in Scotland. CANAL-SIDE SCULPTURE

Clydebank re-built Titan Enterprise 1 Aurora Avenue Clydebank Dunbartonshire G81 1BF t: + 44 (0) 141 951 3420 f: + 44 (0) 141 951 3429 e: w: Winter 2010

The case studies focus on design issues and are based on the six qualities listed in the Scottish Government ‘Designing Places’ policy statement and subsequent planning guidance. This case study focused on the importance of the connection between the Forth & Clyde Canal & the River Clyde in forming a coherent place and the role of land ownership in achieving this.


The Scottish Government has set out an ambition to achieve better places as part of the sustainable economic growth agenda. PLACES are ‘people spaces’. They are an expression of social, cultural, economic and environmental values. Quality of place can be measured in terms of design quality, stewardship and public life. “Places where people want to be”



Clydebank is a unique town in both its history and its location. Its history because it is where world famous ships were created and its location due to its proximity to Glasgow city centre, the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park and Glasgow International Airport. The regeneration has been triggered by the sustained loss of jobs to the area following the closure of the UIE/Kvaerner shipyards. Clydebank re-built URC was established with founding members West Dunbartonshire Council and Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire, who are represented on the board, along with a mix of community representatives, members of the business sector and elected politicians. Its constitution enables it to undertake development projects directly and to enter into joint venture partnerships. CLYDEBANK RE-BUILT VISION: To reposition Clydebank as a creative, distinctive and successful regional centre within the Glasgow metropolitan area.


Competitive Connected Inclusive Quality It is the history which gives Clydebank people their heart and pride – the indefatigable ‘Clydebank spirit’ – and it is this spirit which is driving the vision and creative thinking behind Clydebank’s renaissance

The Clydebank Design Guide produced by Page / Park Architects used as its starting point the Llewelyn Davies study ‘Clyde Riverside: A Framework for Development’ completed in 2001. The Guide explores the development potential of all the key sites from the existing Town Centre to the riverside and along to the Erskine Bridge and establishes a framework for development which reflects the aspiration of Clydebank





DESIGN TEAM Page / Park Architects Mott MacDonald Brown & Wallace

DISTINCTIVE Response to context

innovative approaches to building form

The new street pattern has been designed to extend the existing pattern. New streets have been located to form vistas to existing landmarks such as the Titan Crane.

Provision of open spaces

A number of new public spaces have been identified such as the Canal Square, the Town Hall square and the approach to Queens Quay. These are located relative to important existing and proposed routes.

Existing buildings skyline

The Town Hall is a distinctive historic building which is being refurbished and a new public space is proposed to enhance the setting and prominence of this building.

Great new buildings

A number of well designed new build offices and workshop premises have been constructed which are establishing a distinctive setting for the area

SAFE AND PLEASANT Sense of enclosure

to ensure public access to the N




to create a secure and attractive


to promote a people friendly focus in

Scale feels right

relation to cars and public transport.

The Forth and Clyde Canal and its relationship to the River Clyde have been agreed as an important town centre connection which responds to the physical context of the town. Once the vision for this connection had been agreed the practicalities of making it a reality have been more difficult, in particular some land along the route is owned by neither the URC nor the Local Authority. Land owners and developers respond to the current economic demand which can result in building uses and forms which are inappropriate to the wider vision, such as large retail development. Clydebank re-built has relied on negotiation, its Design Guide and its close working relationship with West Dunbartonshire Council to persuade land owners and developers of the long term benefit of establishing this important physical connection. In light of the 2009/10 economic context the arguments for Place over development of any kind are proving more difficult to win. The role of the URC enables it to encourage significant reorganisation of land uses. For example the existing Playdrome leisure centre, which is adjacent to the town centre, is likely to be relocated to a site nearer the river thus releasing a valuable site in the town centre. This project was chosen as a case study to highlight the complexity of making strategic connections which are attractive places and the impact of land ownership on the ability to control development proposals.

Strategic proposals reflect the importance of the Forth & Clyde Canal to the town centre, the relationship to the River Clyde and the connection between these existing elements.

Strong street pattern

housing choice

to encourage good quality design and

The Clydebank Design Guide separated the study into nine constituent parts, two of which are the subject of this case study i.e. the redefinition of the town centre around the Forth and Clyde Canal and the development of links via Alexander Street, Argyll Road and Kilbowie Road down to Queens Quay which links allied uses at the top of the town centre to the river.


“Designing Places” identifies six qualities which are key to achieving successful places. By their nature these qualities are interlinked and influenced by a wide range of factors such as community view, planning policy, statutory context, economic circumstances and the procurement process. The following review assesses the Clydebank re-built connection between the Forth and Clyde Canal and the River Clyde against the most relevant qualities for this project, which are ‘Distinctive’, ‘Safe and Pleasant’, ‘Ease of Movement’ and ‘Sense of Welcome’.

to create jobs, leisure opportunities and




Relationship with street EASE OF MOVEMENT Connections to public transport

Safe and pleasant Ease of movement Sense of welcome Adaptable Resource efficient


The Guidelines propose street widths from 10m to 37m and the height of buildings to the street edge. This establishes a variety of street typologies and hence a hierarchy of use and scale of these streets. There are a variety of scales reflecting distinct areas of the masterplan. The proposal to the East of Queens Quay for commercial, leisure and education facilities suggests a large urban block, whereas the residential community and Civic Quarter has a much finer urban grain. The design for Clydebank College reflects the urban block and addresses the street rather than a building located in the middle of a large car park. A new transport hub is proposed around the existing Clydebank train station. This is located between the canal and the river ensuring ease of pedestrian access from the town centre. Pontoons have been constructed to the river encouraging boat access to Glasgow. The Guidelines propose that parking is included within the development block and only visitor parking is included on street. The car parking for the commercial, leisure and education facilities is located within the urban block in a high quality landscape setting.

Pedestrian routes linked to public spaces

Public spaces such as the Approach to Queens Quay are located on key desire lines ensuring that they are busy places.

Distinctive works of art



Relationship with street

SENSE OF WELCOME Good lighting to improve safety

DESIGNING PLACES - six qualities:


Lighting of buildings and structures such as the Titan Crane create a strong sense of welcome to an area. The river walkway, public spaces, streets and car park areas have high quality distinctive lighting. Sculptures have been incorporated within the town centre such as the bicycle adjacent to the canal and appropriate art work in the detail design of surfaces and street furniture.


Cydebank Re-built Case Study  

The Scottish Government has set out an ambition to achieve better places as part of the sustainable economic growth agenda. PLACES are ‘peop...