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24/06/13 09:30

Commitment to quality is central to new architecture policy

The Scottish Government’s ambition for quality places throughout Scotland set out in policy statement - 'Creating Places'.

A new national policy on architecture launched today, has stressed the importance of enriching the people of Scotland’s lives through quality buildings and places.

‘Creating Places’ focuses on the value that ‘Place’ has for all of us - as individuals and as a society. The statement sets out an action plan which seeks commitment from the sector’s decision makers to deliver the quality that Scotland’s residents deserve.

Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop joined Primary 4 children at the architectural award-winning Hillhead Primary School in Glasgow to launch the policy this morning.

Ms Hyslop said:

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

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

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

Joining Ms Hyslop at the launch were Architecture + Design Scotland (A+D S) Chair, Karen Anderson and Neil Baxter, Secretary and Treasurer at the Royal Institute of Architects Scotland (RIAS).

The policy sets out a key role for A+D S in championing good architecture and placemaking. Ms Anderson said:

“By shaping our places, architecture also says who we are as a nation. Architecture and placemaking can help us address the economic, social and environmental challenges we face in Scotland. This policy clearly demonstrates the Scottish Government’s commitment to architecture and place in Scotland.”

Also contained in the statement was a commitment by the Scottish Government to support the RIAS Festival of Architecture which will take place in 2016. Mr Baxter welcomed the support and said:

“The Government’s support for the Festival of Architecture in 2016 is hugely welcome. It will help us to improve appreciation of a well-built environment and its contribution to successful communities while celebrating our continuing architectural achievement on an international stage.”

The policy statement will be available at 9.30 on Monday, June 24.

An associated microsite – ‘Creating Places Online’, contain links to a wide range of documents and projects to help develop a comprehensive resource on built and natural environment issues.

Notes to editors

The statement contains 6 key policy objectives aimed at:-

• securing quality outcomes from the planning system.

• ensuring investment decisions are informed by place.

• supporting the next generation of design talent.

• designing for a low carbon economy.

• enhancing and preserving our existing built heritage.

• encouraging active community participation in the design process.

An action plan in the statement sets out a series of commitments which include -

• A commitment to support the RIAS Festival of Architecture in 2016.

• A commitment to establish a new award to recognise client support for good architecture.

• A commitment to work with A+D S to publish an annual review of emerging Scottish design practices.

• A commitment to investigate ways of showcasing our architectural talent through, for example the Venice Biennale on Architecture.

• A commitment to strengthen and promote community participation in design and planning through initiatives such as charrettes and other participatory design methods.