RAPLOCH CASE STUDY
SCOTTISH PLACEMAKING CASE STUDY
URBAN REGENERATION COMPANIES IN SCOTLAND
IMPORTANCE OF POLITICAL LEADERSHIP
The regeneration of Raploch was instigated and driven by local politicians many of whom have been involved for over 10 years. They have been clear on their requirement that the regeneration creates a high quality place.
BENEFITS OFMANAGING FUNDING STREAMS
Along the way there have been a number of challenges in securing adequate funding for both the construction and ongoing maintenance of the ‘Village Square’. This was partly due to the procurement arrangements for the Community Education Campus and wider public realm works, which was delivered through a PPP that had to operate within acute budgetary constraints. In addition, Stirling Council had subsequently to be persuaded to take on the ownership of the ‘Village Square’ and ensure that provision was made for future operational and maintenance costs. A creative approach to developing funding streams has been vital to the process.
EVOLVING AN APPROACH TO STREET REALM
Any deviation from standard practice created difficulties for the transport department. Fear of litigation within the Local Authority was assumed to be primarily to blame but it was noted that attitudes were gradually changing. Adopting partial solutions in an attempt to compromise provided a negotiating tool with varying success. For example the introduction of speed humps along Drip Road helped ensure RCC approval but has reduced the quality of the shared surface.
ESTABLISH LONG TERM RESPONSIBILITY FOR ART WORKS
The inclusion of works of art in the public realm is a significant way to establish the distinctiveness and quality of place. However, agreeing the responsibility for ongoing management and maintenance of these is more complex. Currently these have not been adopted by Stirling Council and are the responsibility of the URC.
ENSURE COMMUNITY GROUPS ARE REPRESENTATIVE
The Raploch Community Partnership (RCP) has been integral to public consultation during the masterplanning and regeneration process. However, it was noted that the views of a small number of very vocal activists within this group were perhaps not always representative of community issues as a whole. Thus the importance of ensuring appropriate representation of community views was highlighted as a key factor to incorporate during this process.
THE ‘VILLAGE SQUARE’ AT THE HEART OF THE COMMUNITY DRIP ROAD
RELEVANT CASE STUDY GUIDANCE:
Architecture Policy Designing Streets PAN 83 Masterplanning OTHER CASE STUDY THEMES:
Clydebank re-built: Connection & Control Clyde Gateway: Integrated Urban Infrastructure Irvine Bay: Re-making a Scottish Coastal Neighbourhood PARC Craigmillar: Creating a Street Riverside Inverclyde: ReImagining Place Assets
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:
The organisation and coordination of local events can help to engender a local public sense of ownership of new civic space. In Raploch this has been considered one of the most important facets of placemaking. There is a requirement to finance and organise these events, at least initially, until they become self-sustaining. The Raploch Community Partnership is currently fulfilling this role.
Showcase the achievements of the URCs ‘LOCI’ SCULPTURE
DEALING WITH PHYSICAL BOUNDARIES AND TIMING BETWEEN PHASES
Provide Scottish examples of how place making policy
has been implemented
Uncertainty with regards to the timing of funding release for Drip Road traffic calming construction project and ensuring that the works were complete for Educational Campus opening dates, created difficulties. This highlights the importance of coordination between construction programmes and funding between different phases.
Assist learning on what works and why
The learning in this case study is targeted at anyone who is involved in the planning, funding and delivery of places in Scotland.
ENSURING A DYNAMIC MASTERPLAN
There is a danger of the masterplan becoming a ‘historical document’ that loses influence as time progresses and the circumstances of the scheme change. It was felt that masterplans should be maintained as dynamic sources of guidance and should be given further attention and input beyond their initial formation. Involvement in a long-term regeneration process can have negative impact on the energy and enthusiasm of the team. The secret is to employ key management staff that relish a daily challenge and have total responsibility for their own actions while knowing that they contribute to the overall success of the regeneration process.
The Urban Regeneration Companies (URCs) 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.
RAPLOCH VILLAGE SQUARE & COMMUNITY CAMPUS
IMPORTANCE OF MANAGEMENT OF A PLACE
MAINTAINING TEAM VITALITY
Raploch URC Ltd. Raploch Resource Centre Glendevon Drive Raploch Stirling FK8 1FB t: + 44 (0) 1786 477540 e: email@example.com w: www.raploch.com 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 focuses on the challenge of creating a new ‘Village Square’ in the heart of an existing community, the realisation of the design intent, the process of managing the square and engaging the community’s sense of ownership.
VILLAGE SQ TO ENTRANCE FRONT OF EDUCATION CAMPUS ON VILLAGE CAMPUS SQUARE
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”
RAPLOCH CASE STUDY
RAPLOCH CASE STUDY
DISCUSSION ON QUALITIES
Raploch has long been considered a distinct neighbourhood within Stirling reflecting its location to the north of the Castle Hill. The predominance of social housing and the poor condition and excessive quantity of the open space were some of the most significant problems facing the community. Providing a high quality public realm was a central goal in the regeneration of the area. The Raploch regeneration project represents an overall public and private investment in excess of £120 million. It aims to deliver 900 new-build mixed tenure homes; external landscaping improvements and sports facilities within a new Community Education Campus; adjoining public space or ‘Village Square’ and improvements to the Stirling Western Access Road and Drip Road. RIV E DR IP
SITE 5 VILLAGE SQUARE & COMMUNITY CAMPUS
“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 Community Education Campus, Village Square and Drip Road improvements against the most relevant qualities for this project, which are ‘Distinctive’, ‘Safe and Pleasant’ and ‘Sense of Welcome’. DISTINCTIVE Response to context
RAPLOCH VISION: OR TH
"Develop a 21st century community, consulted every step of the way. Through effective partnership working, we wish to build a community where people choose to live, work and visit, with new homes, education and health facilities, within an economically sustainable environment." DESIGN TEAM: Anderson Bell Christie
SAFE AND PLEASANT Natural surveillance
Mike Hyatt Landscape Mouchel Engineers RAPLOCH MASTERPLAN
The Raploch Physical Framework produced by Anderson Bell & Christie provides detailed guidance for all areas of the neighbourhood, dividing it into defined character zones corresponding with phasing boundaries of the regeneration. The Community Education Campus was the first element to be built on site in early 2007 and was procured through a separate Public-Private-Partnership contract. The landscape design and traffic calming measures to Drip Road are part of an effort to transform the previously busy road from a divisive element into one that unites and integrates the entire area. The first phase of house building commenced in 2008 on Site 5 of the masterplan by R3, a joint consortium of Taylor Wimpey Ltd. and Cruden Homes East Ltd.
SITE 5 HOUSING
A significant aspect of the placemaking strategy for the entire site is based on the creation of the new ‘Village Square’. The intention is to use this new public space to reflect the quality of the neighbourhood and to become the “heart of the community” through which local history and identity can be celebrated and cultivated. The URC has organised extensive public consultation involving three groups: Stirling Council, the Raploch Community Partnership (RCP) and their own representatives, This has been an integral part of creating the new civic space and the ongoing regeneration process. Despite its importance there have been a number of challenges in securing adequate funding for this key element, with the URC being forced into providing separate funding at an early stage. The PPP was responsible for delivering the Education Campus, with Raploch URC funding the public realm works around this site, including the new Village Square. This imposed acute budgetary constraints and programme challenges. Even after construction costs were met, further negotiations with the Council were required to gain its agreement to take ownership and provide funding for maintenance of some elements of the public realm.
Controlling vehicle speeds naturally
Distinctive Safe and pleasant Ease of movement Sense of welcome Adaptable
Artworks installed within the Village Square are influenced by local identity and community participation. The ‘Loci’ sculpture in particular is a bold attempt to link local inhabitants with the new space through the distribution of ‘keystones’ within the community and the creation of an annual event based on the sun path around the sculpture.
The Village Square has given the community a space for events such as a flower market, and the first Gala Day since 1954 was held in August 2009. These events are helping to reinforce social interaction within the community, which is integral to the act of placemaking. Integration of street and open space is handled well around the Village Square. Pedestrian routes are centred on this space helping to ensure its success by maintaining a high level of pedestrian activity.
The new buildings along Drip Road and adjacent to the Village Square have frontage to these spaces. Activity levels are also maintained through regular pedestrian activity. Vehicle speeds have been reduced dramatically on Drip Road following the introduction of a range of traffic calming measures including road narrowing, varying road geometry and a shared surface of high quality materials.
Management of open spaces
The creation of a ‘sustainable community enterprise’ has been very successful in maintaining the quality of public space. Skills have been transferred from contractors to local workers and it is they who are now responsible for re-laying paving when utility access is required.
Scale feels right
The new buildings surrounding the Village Square have a scale appropriate to the newly created civic space. This is in response to the Design Guide which suggested more dominant massing in the centre, using new buildings to form the main ‘walls’ of the streets adding a sense of enclosure.
SENSE OF WELCOME Landmarks
DESIGNING PLACES - six qualities:
DRIP ROAD IMPROVEMENTS
The Community Campus location on the Village Square, provides a key landmark for both pedestrians and vehicles passing through the neighbourhood.
Distinctive works of art
Interactive, locally focused artworks have been included within the Village Square. Local meaning and community participation in their inception and function is considered key to the placemaking process of the Square.
A competition for the design of speed control signage was run within the primary school in order to generate greater interest and understanding of Drip Road traffic calming.
Encourages positive interaction between neighbours
The investment in the area has encouraged the creation of opportunities and aspirations within the local community. It is hoped that through the continued encouragement of public events within the Village Square interaction between local people will further increase.