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CONFIDENCE BUILDING THROUGH EARLY ACTION AND QUALITY Regeneration areas have powerful place stories. The reason for regeneration is often shifts in macro economic conditions which dramatically alter place function. However, place memory carries on with the community. The process of transformation builds hope. Action builds trust. Quality builds confidence. The Ladyburn project seeks to enable community enterprise in a structure which carries place memory forward in a contemporary manner. It is a relatively modest physical intervention but has significant social and economic benefits. The quality of the scheme is in its links to people, place and its adaptability. JOINED UP THINKING BY THINKING ABOUT OUTCOMES FIRST Market making is enabled by public sector activity. Place is about people and the environment. It is about taking a long term view of issues like employment, health, and learning which influence social and economic mobility. Direct investment in a place can generate positive, sustainable long term impacts. Achieving the best outcomes is about partnership working, collaboration and joined up thinking. Spatial scenarios enable these outcomes to be explored by linking people processes, policy agendas and delivery to actual neighbourhoods and networks. Spatial thinking, enabled by design, helps inform the ‘art of the possible’, and enables better informed decision making. LOTS OF SMALL SCALE CHANGE, JOINED UP STRATEGIC CHANGE To maintain confidence, Inverclyde is adopting a distributed policy of change across the URC area. This presents challenges and opportunities. On one level, the sum of small scale actions demonstrates that things are happening. Over time, these actions can shape a place organically, transforming how existing places and assets feel and work. This sets a foundation for medium and longer term strategic change, enabled by an outcome focused approach to strategic asset management and a place vision that can be delivered spatially, socially and economically. TAKING A LONG TERM VIEW OF RISK AND REWARD A joined up approach to place transformation and asset management enables a long term view to be adopted to the process of market making. This allows stakeholders to assess what short and long term investments, or land releases or asset retention would enable better outcomes for the place, and be in the public interest.

RE-IMAGINING PLACE ASSETS Riverside Inverclyde, Greenock

The Urban Regeneration Companies (URCs) are special purpose delivery 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 881 Community Engagement PAN 83 Masterplanning OTHER CASE STUDY THEMES:

Clydebank re-built: Connection & Control Clyde Gateway: Integrated Urban Street Infrastructure Irvine Bay: Re-making a Scottish Coastal Neighbourhood PARC Craigmillar: Creating a Street Raploch: Village Square at the heart of the Community


The URCs in Scotland have committed to the placemaking agenda. This is one of a series of case studies looking at URC initiatives, 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

QUALITY OVER TIME The main advantage of a strategic approach to place and asset management, enabled by quality short term projects that build confidence is clarity in the definition of quality by a range of stakeholders: quality in terms of quality of life, quality of service, quality of design. Design interventions enable place quality to build over time, where design is used as a tool to achieve outcomes, unlock problems and use resources creatively.

Provide Scottish examples of how place making policy

has been implemented

Assist learning on what works and why

The learning in this case study is targeted at anyone involved in the planning, funding, delivery and management of places in Scotland. SCULPTURE, ASPIRATION BY KEITH McCARTER

Riverside Inverclyde Suite G1 22 Pottery Street GREENOCK PA15 2UZ t: + 44 (0)1475 755080 e: hugh.mcmillan @riversideinverclyde.com w: www.riversideinverclyde.com Winter 2010

Case studies focus on design issues and are based on qualities listed in the Scottish Government ‘Designing Places’ policy statement and subsequent planning guidance. The focus of this Case study is on the creative use of assets, and management of resources by design. The aim is to understand how more effective outcomes and better quality of life opportunities for citizens can be guided at a place level.



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”



Riverside Inverclyde URC is a joint initiative between Scottish Enterprise, Inverclyde Council and Scottish Government, in partnership with Clydeport Plc and wider private and voluntary sectors. The URC’s emphasis is on working with partners to contribute to the long term growth of Inverclyde and bring about effective ‘place transformation’. This will be achieved through a twinned approach of ‘going for growth’ through exploiting existing and new opportunities and ‘spreading the benefits of growth’ to local residents and business communities, consistent with national, regional and local policy.


Riverside Inverclyde URC has produced a development framework for the URC area which seeks to transform its function, character and economic performance. Through using existing physical assets and transforming others the framework sets out ambitions for a range of outputs, including 2,285 housing units (meeting regional and local needs), 35,000m² business space, 7,000m² retail and leisure space and 22,500m² education and training space. The objective is to deliver 2,600 full time equivalent jobs, accommodate 4,570 residents, and create the potential to generate £90m of annual gross value added over the 10 year period. Strategic change is managed over seven key intervention areas. PLACE TRANSFORMATION:

KEY AREAS: Area 1: The Harbours/ Cathcart Street [mixed use and cultural development] Area 2: Cartsdyke/ Cartsburn [mixed use residential and commercial] Area 3: Riverside Business Park [Green energy, mixed commercial and third sector economy] Area 4: James Watt Dock [strategic waterside live, work and leisure area] Area 5: Greenock and Port Glasgow Town Centres [town centre regeneration] Area 6: Riverview/ Castlebank [residential estate regeneration] Area 7: Kelburn [residential and commercial development]



This is about organisational and spatial change over time. It involves process, projects and multi partner planning. In Inverclyde, the process of placemaking being pursued by the URC is to build confidence through many small and medium scale actions in a distributed manner across the geography of the URC area. These actions build on the strong mercantile identity of the area, re-imagining and transforming existing assets. In this context, the design element of placemaking has been as much about process design as physical design.

The URC area contains a range of urban structures and communities. An objective is to re-imagine how structures are organised to enable more prosperity, opportunity and wellbeing. Design is key to unlock possibilities and this case study looks at how assets are re-imagined across two scales - local and strategic. [a] Small scale physical project: Ladyburn Enterprise Centre is a refurbishment of a former Victorian school as a hub for the third sector and creative industries, and is located within a wider emerging mixed use commercial regeneration area extending to 152 acres. The refurbishment process respected the character of the existing building, and retained much of the built form to provide a series of flexible spaces. Throughout the building, and externally, are examples of local public art in the form of quality public realm and other installations. An intention was to support a sustainable local enterprise economy, create a gallery/meeting space and workspace for local artists. The working community are actively involved in managing the facility. [b] Large scale physical and organisational process: Effective sharing of public sector assets could enable better services for citizens, through re-structuring physical fabric and re-imagining place infrastructure in a way that achieves better outcomes and financial efficiencies. Riverside Inverclyde URC and Inverclyde Council, along with other public sector partners, hosted a series of ‘place transformation’ exercises. The process was prompted by outline design propositions and a gaming technique which divided the study area into a set of tiles. Participants tested asset management assumptions, desired outcomes and service delivery scenarios through ‘playing’ different spatial options. This evaluated what might be possible, who held which assets, who needed what in terms of space and resources, and what could be shared. A baseline for collective and individual use was gathered to inform future decision making within a wider spatial context.


‘Designing Places’ identifies six qualities which are key to achieving successful places. By their nature, these are interlinked and influenced by a wide range of factors such as community view, planning policy, statutory context, economic circumstances and procurement processes. The following review assesses both the Ladyburn project and the Effective Use of Public Sector Assets project against the most relevant qualities for these projects which are ‘Distinctive’, ‘Adaptable’ and ‘Resource Efficient.’

DESIGNING PLACES - six qualities:



Maximises the potential of existing buildings and brownfield land Responds to local context

Buildings adaptable to a variety of future uses Loose design

RESOURCE EFFICIENT Minimisation of waste in the construction process Adaptability of building form

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

The project refurbished a Victorian school to create a Centre for Social Enterprise and workspace for creative industries. The building has important connections with the surrounding community, forming part of a group of historic buildings, that speaks of mercantile history in a changing landscape. Local public art interventions within and adjacent to the building celebrate this theme. The project capitalises on the building’s distinctive character as an important hub for the community.

ADAPTABLE Mix of compatible uses


The refurbishment of the Victorian school building retained much of the existing structure, materials and character. Improved circulation between floors enables multiple use, multiple occupancy, and operational synergies between uses. The refurbishment was deliberately low cost and loose in design terms to maximise the building’s natural efficiency and to minimise occupier rental costs to enable local participation in the enterprise activity of the building. The building character is retained and all works are easily modified.



The building forms part of a masterplan proposal to develop a wider commercial zone in the URC area. The building’s retention minimises waste of an existing asset, and anchors the rest of the masterplan proposal. Key sustainability outcomes relate to management of existing resources in the context of an appropriate set of uses for the building and its character.



Cross public sector thinking about how spatial structure and delivery of outcomes for people could be enhanced by a different approach to the management of public assets by design. Exploration of mechanisms necessary to enable tangible changes to be delivered. Rapid testing of spatial scenarios using outline design propositions and a participative and collaborative gaming method.

ADAPTABLE Spatial thinking and outline design possibilities enabled conversations about possible configuration of assets, land management and financial scenarios.


Long term change can be factored into spatial thinking and scenarios, enabling consideration of how urban, building and service delivery structures might adapt to changing social, economic and environmental conditions over time.

RESOURCE EFFICIENT Focusing on desired place outcomes using design led spatial thinking enabled clarity on which resources could be used most effectively to achieve efficiencies at neighbourhood and strategic levels. The game method enabled ‘free conversation’ to rapidly test and re-think possibilities. The scenarios method, linked to place and spatial thinking, enabled participants to quickly judge trade-offs between outcomes, assess what sources of sustainable change might be and assess positive and negative effects.


Profile for Architecture + Design Scotland

Riverside Inverclyde Case Study  

Riverside Inverclyde Suite G1 22 Pottery Street GREENOCK PA15 2UZ SCULPTURE, ASPIRATION BY KEITH McCARTER  Architecture Policy  Designin...

Riverside Inverclyde Case Study  

Riverside Inverclyde Suite G1 22 Pottery Street GREENOCK PA15 2UZ SCULPTURE, ASPIRATION BY KEITH McCARTER  Architecture Policy  Designin...