LIS Facilitated Debate at The Scottish Parliament – 5th June 2018

‘Landscape for Scotland’ – Working together to help shape quality in landscape and place

The Landscape Institute Scotland launched Landscape for Scotland at the Scottish Parliament at the end of 2017:  Read Landscape for Scotland 

A follow up lively debate facilitated by Lesley Riddoch was held at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, 5th June 2018 with over 80 people attending from a range of organisations that have a shared interest in Landscape and Place.

The aim of the event was to engage with MSPs, professionals and organisations and tackle how the themes identified in Landscape for Scotland can be relevant to the ambitions of the Scottish Government’s Scotland is Now and the delivery of aspects of the Programme for Scotland. The outcomes of this debate are firm action points which will be taken forward that further develop our five key aims in the document.


Landscape for Scotland promotes a vision that gives a role to all of our landscapes.  It argues that landscape must not be forgotten or squeezed out, because it can provide effective solutions to our problems and needs.  Good design and management of landscape can be a force multiplier, maximising the benefits of investment and building in resilience.  And landscape is so all-encompassing; it requires collaboration and a full range of the talents to get right – teamwork between professionals, communities and politicians.

The new ‘Scotland is Now’ campaign is very relevant to our landscape vision:

  • It demonstrates how our landscapes are used to define our nation on an international stage
  • Our nation is progressive, inclusive and sustainable
  • Our economy, quality of life, health, innovation and learning are all key
  • We must harness talent, skills and investment

Scotland is committed to achieving a low-carbon society by 2050, and to addressing deep-seated social inequality and deprivation in our communities.  Environmental justice is a key part of this.  If we fully consider the environment in which we live, then it can offer solutions that are effective, achievable and affordable; in fact, we cannot afford not to plan and design our places holistically, if we are to address the problems of today and meet the challenges of the future.

Landscape is a topic that crosses over between many areas of policy and government, and often suffers as a result.  Yet with a joined-up approach and sharing of expertise across government, the potential of landscape to contribute to every aspect of policy and delivery can be realised.


All Photographs: (C) Nick McGowan-Lowe 2018.

A full report of the debate can be seen here

Read what some of the attendees had to say about the debate and our ambitious vision for landscape in Scotland:

‘A really useful, interesting and enjoyable session .. we are really keen to strengthen the connections with all things related to place. We recognise the fundamental role place has in health, so much so that Place and Communities has been identified as one of the new national public health priorities for Scotland.’ – Mathew Lowther NHS Scotland


‘I attended the discussion last night – and was delighted to see landscape being debated in the parliament. As you know it has a very low political profile .NTS is keen to help raise that profile and I would like to meet you to discuss how we might work together to achieve that.’ – Stuart Brooks – National Trust for Scotland


‘Thanks for last night’s interesting session covering a fascinating and worthy subject from an unusual set of angles and for your own helpful contribution towards the end. I hope that we (as in those with a passion for landscape) may create some more space and time to weave together the various threads– giving more time to tease out different perspectives before finding them their rightful places in the landscape of contemporary society’ – Ninian Stuart – Centre for Stewardship


‘Thanks to you and your colleagues for organizing the debate. I was delighted that A&DS was able to play a full part in the evening and look forward to supporting increased collaboration so please count us in on that score.’ – Jim MacDonald  – Architecture and Design Scotland



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