The Royal Town Planning Institute in Scotland

Convenerís message

3 April 2008


With the benefit of the convenerís ringside perspective, Iíve seen the cut and thrust of some new thinking, not least Graeme Purvesí insightful approaches to the National Planning Framework at our recent RTPI task group.As mentor for licentiate Kerstin Dueling, Iíve appreciated the good work on public involvement Cliff Hague and she have been putting together for Planning Aid Scotland with the help of advisers from different sides of the planning service. Good luck to Kerstin in her new post with the Harrison Grierson consultancy in New Zealand.My third year planning students at Dundee University brought some fresh ideas to the task of regenerating developments along the cityís Kingsway Ė congratulations to Garrie Watson, Oonagh Baxter and Fraser MacKenzie, the three shortlisted for Dundee City Councilís 2008 Civic Award which Garrie won. As a judge for the Geddes Trust student awards, I read some first rate analysis from planning schools around Scotland including Steven Orrís ďA Change in the WindĒ on windfarms and Gille Youngís work on Public Protests and the Historic Inner City. And of course the annual Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning delivered their usual hits of inspiration Ėcheck out the details here in the Scottish Planner.


Travelling the Lothians and Borders as a guest assessor for the Edinburgh Architectural Awards let me see large and small projects on the ground at close quarters from the userís point of view, notably the new Queen Margaret University outside Musselburgh, the flexible Stewarts Melville concert hall, the dramatic Heart of Hawick mill conversion and an elegant transformation of a coal bunker in Portobello. Seeing developments up close is something my retired planner cycling colleagues can also enjoy on our monthly jaunts around Scotland.†† Itís been a great pleasure to contribute to two well-organised SNH events one promoting participants in active citizenship, the other for students in planning and environment courses.


A breakfast seminar on the Scottish Governmentís sustainable communities initiative gave me a welcome chance to exchange professional support with Jim Mackinnon, and the workshop that I took part in seemed to agree that sustainable communities could not be dropped fully-formed from above, that people hoped instead to pinpoint good ideas and examples of aspects of sustainable development to learn from in every part of the country, and that Scotland has to devise new funding arrangements to get the upfront infrastructure it needs. Later a UN-led conference in Dundee looked at how planning can tackle climate change, with business, community groups, and local government all contributing good ideas.At a BEFS Healthy Places workshop I heard calls from public health professionals for better design and citizen empowerment to promote wellbeing. This same healthy living objective inspired our professionís emergence in Scotland at the hands of Partrick Geddes and Thomas Adams a hundred years ago, and itís time we rededicated ourselves.Donít miss Harry Burnsí Geddes Lecture on 4 June.


Dundee City Councilís 2008 Civic Award:

Garrie Watson, Oonagh Baxter and Fraser MacKenzie with Mike Galloway


Roger Kelly


Roger Kelly convened the Royal Town Planning Instituteís Scottish Executive throughout 2008.

This message appeared in the May edition of the Scottish Planner

earlier message January 2008†† later messages June 2008†† August 2008†† October 2008†† December 2008

Review of the year 2008

Roger Kelly on the context of planning reform June 2009