LIS Public and Third Sector Landscape Architects’ Seminar 2015

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Scotland’s Public and Third Sector Landscape Architects convene in Edinburgh

Over 40 participants met at Edinburgh City Chambers on Friday, 27th March 2015 to celebrate the work of Landscape Architects working in Scotland’s public and third sectors.

Representatives were drawn from local authorities, national public bodies and environmental organisations and also included a number of members from private practice and students from the University of Edinburgh.

The half-day event was organised by the Landscape Institute Scotland and chaired by Sue Evans FLI, Head of Development at the Central Scotland Green Network Trust.

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Danny McKendry CMLI, spoke about his work as Principal Regeneration Officer for East Renfrewshire Council.  A range of regeneration models have been employed to re-energise communities and the local economy in the towns of Barrhead, Neilston, Clarkston and Giffnock. Download a PDF of the presentation HERE

The regeneration approaches undertaken by East Renfrewshire Council have ranged from investment led masterplans and community based environmental improvements to the establishment of Business Improvement Districts and sharing of successful approaches between towns. The Neilston Infill Development Strategy is thought to be the first adopted LDP Supplementary Planning Guidance established from a community ‘Charter for Change’ in Scotland.

Adrian Pringle CMLI, reflected on the challenges of managing landscape change within one of the best onshore wind resources in Europe in Dumfries and Galloway, where Adrian works as a Landscape Architect within the Planning and Environment Service. Adrian’s advisory work encompasses both small scale wind energy schemes to supplement agricultural incomes and nationally significant energy infrastructure projects. Increases in the height of turbines and power generating capacity and the coalescence of wind farms are leading to wind farm clusters within the landscape and increasing pressures on landscape amenity.

Adrian and his colleagues are assisted in this process by the Dumfries and Galloway Wind Farm Landscape Capacity Study.  Adrian emphasised the need for the ‘Right Turbine in the Right Place’ and an industry landscape champion, reflecting on the influence of the late Dame Sylvia Crowe, who provided pioneering consultancy advice to the Forestry Commission in the 1960s and 70s. Download a PDF of the presentation HERE

Jigsaw2_LowResGlasgow City Council’s commended entry to the Landscape Institute Scotland’s Placemaking Competition 2014 titled ‘Landscape Architects Influencing Others’, was the emblem for the event.  Cathy Johnston CMLI, Group Manager, Development and Regeneration Services at Glasgow City Council, reflected on the origins of the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network, which aptly can be traced back to the thinking of the influential Scottish Landscape Architect, Ian McHarg. Download a PDF of the presentation HERE

The strategic vision for a green network across Glasgow and the Clyde Valley has continued to bear fruit over the last 20 years, including development of the Central Scotland Woodlands Initiative, later the Central Scotland Forest, which today forms part of the Central Scotland Green Network.  It has equally laid the framework for the Glasgow Metropolitan Drainage Network, providing cost-effective solutions which improve water and environmental quality and serve the expansion of the City via Glasgow’s Proposed LDP, such as the Gartcosh/Gartloch and Seven Lochs Wetland Park.  Landscape architects are well placed to continue to influence strategic planning for green networks and think at a landscape scale, which goes beyond local authority boundaries.

Rebecca Hughes FLI, Landscape Institute Policy and Development Officer Scotland, explained the policy consultations and liaison with related professional bodies she has undertaken during 2014, the first year of this new post in Scotland funded by the LI.  Rebecca was responsible for organising the LIS Landscape Futures Event at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh in October 2014, with support from Forestry Commission Scotland and the Landscape Institute. As a result of this event, Rebecca was invited to represent LIS on the Scottish Tree Health Advisory Group. Download a PDF of the presentation HERE

Andrew Smith CMLI, Planning Officer in the Natural Environment Team at City of Edinburgh Council concluded the presentations by providing feedback on LIS Public and Third Sector Members’ Survey 2014, which provided the basis for group discussion on the future challenges for the profession in Scotland, chaired by Euan Leitch, Advocacy and Communications Officer from the Built Environment Forum Scotland.  Euan encouraged members to consider questions focussed upon the identity of the profession, its policy position and project delivery through the prisms of the Landscape Institute, Scottish Government and national public bodies, LI Scotland Branch, the role of individual LI members and their respective organisations. Euan observed that many of the challenges facing Landscape Architects run in parallel with conversations being held amongst conservation and heritage community. Download a PDF of the presentation HERE

Public Sector Survey Results – Download the PDF HERE Summary of Public Sector Survey

Programme – Download the PDF HERE

More about the Speakers – Download the PDF HERE

Participants – Download the PDF HERE

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Next steps

A list of draft actions to be taken forward by the Landscape Institute, its Scotland Branch and LI Members in Scotland will be considered by the LIS Committee at its meeting on 8 April ready for the LIS AGM on 29 April.  These outcomes will also be reported to LI Council.  The LIS will shortly be carrying out similar engagement process with members in private practice.

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