Patrick Geddes Learning Festival

Following on from the success of the 2016 PAS conference; “Outlook: Exploring Geddes in the 21st Century” and in light of growing international interest in the work of Sir Patrick Geddes, PAS will host a follow-on conference this September. The “Patrick Geddes Learning Festival” will take place on 28 – 29 September 2017 in Edinburgh.

PAS is excited to say that we are working in partnership with the Patrick Geddes Learning Centre for the two-day conference. The Patrick Geddes Learning Festival will be held in the newly refurbished Riddles Court, just off the Royal Mile – a historic building with strong Geddes.

A number of speakers will offer an international perspective on Geddes’ work, including Keijiro Suzuki from Japan and Lord Charles Bruce who will be able to talk about Patrick Geddes’ relationship with Rabindranath Tagore and his influence in India.

Students from Galashiels Academy who are working with us on a four-year project will also reflect on their aspirations for their place and the new Place Standard digital app as a means of engaging more people in their local environment.

To view the full programme for the Patrick Geddes Learning Festival, please click here.

For further information, please contact Laura MacDonald on email or by phone 0131 220 9730.

This event has been kindly sponsored by Ballie Gifford and Architecture & Design Scotland and and is in partnership with the Patrick Geddes Centre.

To book for this event, visit the EventBrite page here.

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RTPI Scotland Annual Conference

The New Agenda: Planners as Visionaries, Facilitators and Enablers

The planning system in Scotland is undergoing a significant review and a Planning Bill is scheduled to be published before the end of the year.  At the same time UN Habitat III in Quito has published the new urban agenda which outlines how planners and planning have a vital role in improving the quality of life for people by creating inclusive, successful and sustainable places.

The conference will look at the key issues we face in Scotland to develop an agenda for change. It will hear about opportunities, challenges faced and the new thinking and doing required from inspirational and forward thinking people.  Conference delegates will have the opportunity to discuss these with others and help develop and agree the way forward.



9.30     Registration

10.00   Introduction and Welcome - Stefano Smith MRTPI, Convenor, RTPI Scotland

10.05   The New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals - An Opportunity for Planning? - Emeritus Professor Cliff Hague FRTPI OBE, Chair, The Cockburn Society

10.30    How Do We Plan for Inclusive Growth?

  • Oonagh Gil MRTPI, Head of Enterprise and Cities, Scottish Government
  • Lesley Martin MRTPI, Lead Member, RSA Building Inclusive Growth Network in Scotland
  • Jennifer Wallace, Head of Policy, Carnegie UK Trus

 Q+A and discussion to identify priority actions

11.45   Tea/ coffee

12.00   How do we plan for Social Justice?

  • Sarah Boyack, Head of Public Affairs, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
  • Andy Milne, Chief Executive, SURF
  • and other TBC

Q+A and discussion to identify priority actions

 13.15   Lunch

 14.00   How do we plan for Environmental Sustainability?

  • Anne McCall MRTPI, Director, RSPB Scotland
  • Martin Valenti, Head of Strategic Initiatives, SEPA
  • Gordon Watson MRTPI, Chief Executive,  Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority

 Q+A and discussion to identify priority actions

15.15   Tea/ coffee

15.40   The Way Forward for Planning: Creating Certainty in an Uncertain World - Professor Janice Morphet FRTPI, the Bartlett School of Planning

16.05   Ministerial Address - Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government and Housing

16.30   Closing comments


You can book places here


RTPI Members £125 + VAT

Non Members £150 + VAT

A limited number of places are available for students and unemployed members for £30 + VAT.

Source: RTPI Scotland

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Housekeeping Scotland Convention: A vision for homes, communities & places

Houses are not just walls with price tags. Houses are homes, which are the centre of communities, and it is communities which form places. Event organised by Common Weal.

Eventbrite booking page here

The Housekeeping Scotland Convention is the start of a long term Common Weal project aiming to build a genuinely transformative agenda for housing in Scotland that re-establishes homes as the beating heart of communities and places, not as financial assets for speculative gains.

This project therefore seeks to address the two facets of the housing crisis, equally pervasive: an economic one, with sky-high rents and ever-rising inequality between those with property and those without, and an alienation one, with new housing built without community in mind and the forces of gentrification and under-investment displacing and undermining communities within our built environment.

This twin crisis fused together in the tragedy of Grenfell tower, which if it does not act as a spur to fundamentally change our approach to homes, communities and places nothing will.

The aim is to have good housing with the infrastructure and public amenities that make good communities – then we can give people great homes and great communities in which to make a home.

Speakers confirmed:

Professor Richard Murphy is a UK chartered accountant and political economist. Richard was appointed as Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University in September 2015 where his academic research focuses on tax, tax gaps and tax abuse. He also directs Tax Research UK and writes, broadcasts and blogs extensively, the latter at

Robin McAlpine is Director of Common Weal, columnist at CommonSpace and author of Determination: How Scotland can become independent by 2021.

Malcolm Fraser is an award winning architect based in Edinburgh. He led and authored the Scottish Government's Town Centre Review in 2013. Fraser sits on the board of Common Weal and was spokesperson for Architects for Yes during the referendum campaign. Malcolm is author of Housekeeping Scotland: a new agenda for housing in Scotland, published by Common Weal last year.

Sarah Glynn is an academic and architect. She has been a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Edinburgh and a Teaching Fellow in Geography at St Andrews. She is author of Where the Other Half Lives: lower income housing in a neoliberal world, published by Pluto Press in 2009. Sarah also published Housing for a Better Nation in 2014, a Common Weal paper on a new vision for housing in Scotland.

Neil Sutherland is an Architect, Business Owner and Managing Director of MAKAR. MAKAR has pioneered a response to local renewable and often marginalised resources – timber and people - into a high skilled, high wage organisation delivering around 20 houses across Scotland per annum. MAKAR has evolved an 'engineered construction approach' which integrates design, manufacture and delivery, and delivers some of the highest energy performance housing in the country from non toxic and local resources.

Professor David Adams is the Ian Mactaggart chair of Property & Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow. He is one of Scotland's new Land Commissioners as part of the Scottish Land Commission established by the Scottish Government last year to make recommendations to the Scottish Government on land reform. His research interests focus on planning and land policy, real estate developers, speculative housebuilders, brownfield redevelopment and place quality.

Clare Symonds is the founder and Chair of Planning Democracy, which campaigns for a fair and inclusive Planning system in Scotland. Clare has been recognised in the Scottish Sustainable Development Forum’s Green List for her work to improve community engagement in Scottish planning. Clare has worked on community empowerment issues in both local government and the voluntary sector strengthening her belief that a robust, democratic planning system is crucial for shaping fairer and more sustainable places.

Kirsten Carter McKee is an architectural historian and cultural landscape specialist, lecturing at the University of Edinburgh.

Andy Wightman is Scottish Greens MSP for the Lothians and spokesperson on Local Government. Andy is a researcher and activist who is widely known for his work on land issues, and is the author of 'The Poor Has No Lawyers: Who Owns Scotland and How they Got it'.

Najimee Parveen has been Director of Positive Action Training in Housing (PATH) Scotland since 1999, a charity set up to provide training and work experience in housing-related fields of employment to people from ethnic minorities who are under-represented in the housing sector. Prior to this work Najimee has been policy and campaigns officer for the Commission for Racial Equality in Scotland and worked on a number of campaigns including “Lets Kick Racism Out of Football” and the “Visible Womens’ Campaign” which was designed to challenge stereotypes and promote positive role models of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) women.

Amanda Burgauer is chair and director of the Scottish Rural Parliament (Scottish Rural Action), which is independent of government and aims to be a powerful voice for the people of rural Scotland. Amanda was part of the Scottish Government's Planning Review Group which informed the upcoming Planning Bill.

Chris Cook is a senior research fellow at the institute for security & resilience studies at the University College London, where his research focuses on legal structures and financial instruments. Chris works mainly in Scotland with Nordic Enterprise Trust to develop new partnership based enterprise models and related financial products and services.

Susie Fitton is Policy Projects Officer for Independent Living in Scotland, which aims to grow and strengthen the Independent Living Movement in Scotland and to support disabled people to have their voices heard by policy and decision makers. ILIS recently published Our Place; Our Space - a report on disabled people's housing issues from the recent Disabled People's Summit in Scotland.

More Speakers and full convention timetable TBC.

The venue is wheelchair accessible. Please let us know any other arrangements which would improve access to the event. Click here for further information on accessibility.

Contact for more information about the event.

Registration opens 10.30am (11am start).

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Density Well Done and Walkable Communities Masterclass

Join international planning expert, Brent Toderian for an in-depth masterclass covering the smart design of active communities where people can thrive. The session is organised by Paths for All.

Good quality walking environments are vital to encourage people to walk more in their daily lives. The smart design of our towns and cities including urban density has benefits for our social, mental and physical health as well as our environment and economy. Join this interactive masterclass to learn about and discuss the creation of crucial walkable communities with an international expert.

Event host: Craig McLaren, Director of the Royal Town Planning Institute Scotland

Craig McLaren will host this unique event bringing local perspectives to the topics of Density Done Well and Walkable Communities in Scotland.

Masterclass with Brent Toderian: Density Done Well and Walkable Communities

Internationally respected practitioner Brent Toderian is leading this interactive masterclass addressing the critical elements of doing density successfully, with a particular emphasis on multi-modal city-making and designing walkable communities at any scale.

Brent Toderian is an expert in advanced urbanism, city planning and urban design and a former Chief Planner for Vancouver, Canada. Read more about Brent Toderian online.

Planning for Healthier Places: Place Standard

At this session you'll hear how planners can use the award-winning Place Standard to systematically evaluate what a ‘good place’ means. The tool allows practitioners to consider the physical and social aspects of a place, with a focus on promoting positive health outcomes.

Who should attend?

  • Planners and architecture professionals working in urban planning, regeneration, housing or transport
  • Practitioners, academics and professionals working in health disciplines who need to understand critical planning decisions involved in creating environments for a healthy population
  • Those working to promote active and sustainable transport

Scottish charity Paths for All have partnered with Scotland's leading organisations in planning and urban design to organise this event. The partners are: Architecture and Design Scotland, NHS Health Scotland, Paths for All, RTPI Scotland, Scotland’s Towns Partnership, Scottish Government Planning and Transport Scotland.

Book online to attend Density Well Done and Walkable Communities.

Event Details

Date: 24 October 2017
Time: 10.00 – 16.30
Venue: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Edinburgh
Organiser: Paths for All
Price: £135
Booking: tickets can be purchased online
Event Partners: Architecture and Design Scotland, NHS Health Scotland, Paths for All, RTPI Scotland, Scotland’s Towns Partnership, Scottish Government Planning and Transport Scotland.

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A Celebration of Small and Rural Towns Reception

John Scott MSP and Scotland's Towns Partnership invite you to celebrate Small and Rural Towns at the Cross Party Group for Towns and Town Centre's evening reception at the Scottish Parliament.

Given the importance of towns to MSPs and their constituents, this is a significant event to connect and inform. Through speeches from the Minister for Housing and Local Government, and leaders in the towns’ field, get up to speed on towns becoming viable, vibrant, vital places. The event will also discuss the upcoming Scotland’s Towns Week (November 20-26)

Kindly supported by ABB and Abellio Scotland 


Draft Agenda

17:30   Guests Arrival

17:45   Guests Escorted to the Robert Burns Room (Committee Room 1)

18:00   Networking and Small and Rural Towns Showcase

18:15   Welcome – John Scott MSP, Convener, Cross Party Group for Towns and Town Centres

18:20   Ministerial Address – Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government and Housing

18:30    James Ledgerwood, Head of Economic Development, Abellio ScotRail (invited)

18:35   Professor Leigh Sparks, Deputy Principal and Professor of Retail Studies at the Institute for Retail Studies, University of Stirling and Chair, Scotland’s Towns Partnership

            [Group Photo]

19:00   Networking and Small and Rural Towns Showcase

20:00   Close

Refreshments provided 

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Planning in Scotland: Delivering a 360 Degree Planning System

Organised by MacKay Hannah.

This conference discusses the Scottish Government's plans to legislate to develop a Scottish planning system which is more strategic and enabling, better networked into other policy areas, rooted in consensual and engaged development planning and more collaborative in its structure, working and funding both internally and externally. In other words, how do we achieve the 360˚ Planning System Scotland needs?

Some of the conference themes to be explored include:

  • Purpose and Practice in Planning
  • Understanding the White Paper
  • Process and delivery - what works?
  • Getting system scale - balancing big-enough-to-matter with small enough for hands-on
  • Achieving the delicate balance of working protectively and proactively
  • Planning and its relationship with other policy areas
  • Planning structures, agencies and powers
  • Aggregating investment and structures 

View agenda, speakers and more information at the MacKay Hannah website. 


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Scotland's Towns Conference 2017

Creating the Future History of Scotland's Towns: The Key to Social, Cultural and Economic Wellbeing

A Scotland’s Towns Partnership production, in partnership with Renfrewshire Council and Paisley 2021

You can reserve your place for Scotland's Towns Conference 2017 using the payment options below.

Pay by PayPal 

Pay by Invoice

STP Non-Member Rate: £180.00
STP Member Rate: £90.00

Not a member of STP? Join here today and book at the member rate for STC 17! You can check if your organisation is a member of STP here

For full information, programme and speakers, please visit the Scotland's Towns Conference 2017 web page

If you have any queries or would like to enquire about commercial opportunities, please contact Alison Jones at

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Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.

The day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses. In 2017 Small Business Saturday will take place on Saturday, December 2nd.

We want all kinds of small businesses to get involved, so know that whether you are a family business, local shop, online business, wholesaler, business service or small manufacturer, Small Business Saturday is supporting you! For all the ways you can get involved, check out the links below.

Want to support your local small businesses as a local authority? Show your support for Small Business Saturday and encourage others to get involved! For all the ways you can get involved, check out the links below:

Are you a trade body, membership organisation, BID or local business network? Show your support for Small Business Saturday and encourage others to get involved! For all the ways you can get involved, check out the links below:

Read more here. 


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Sponsored By …Connecting Scotland's Towns