A shortlist of imaginative designs of how eight communities could be improved has been unveiled ahead of the second annual Scotland’s Towns Week. 

Sketches, photographs or short written descriptions on how urban spaces could be renewed were sought by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP), the national agency and ‘go to’ body for towns north of the border.

The FutureTown Design competition aims to help communities imagine how derelict spaces can be brought back to life, footfall can be increased, or simply offer ideas for brightening up street scenes.

The eight shortlisted designs range from an ambitious redevelopment of a town centre quarter to a proposal for emerging artist to paint city centre litter bins. D

esigns proposing creative changes in Ayr, Cupar, Denny, Dumfries, Fort William, and the Edinburgh districts of Gorgie, Leith Walk and the city centre all appear on the shortlist, which include artistic flourishes, refurbishments, and entirely new developments. Last year’s winner, William Lippe Architects, won with a proposal to re-create Inverurie’s historic town square.

“We are pleased to announced the shortlist of forward-thinking design ideas for this year’s competition, and are impressed with the creativity and thought that each entrant put into the future of their local area,” said Phil Prentice of STP.

“These designs underline just how far creative thinking – combined with action from community stakeholders – can go to helping our towns transform and flourish”. Members of the public can vote for their favourite online.

The winner, in addition to gaining a public profile for their project, will present their idea to MSPs on Holyrood’s cross-party group on town centres.

The shortlisted entries will also go on display in Kirkcaldy on November 9 as part of the 2016 Scotland’s Towns Conference.

The full shortlist:

AYR: A pop-up arts centre in a former department store in the town’s high street.

CUPAR: The building of ‘Cupar Inner Court’ - 30 affordable homes and a business hub to ‘plug’ a neglected town centre site. DENNY: The remodelling of a 1970s bank building at Denny Cross to provide a new community hub.

DUMFRIES: The development of ‘Midsteeple Quarter’ - bringing back to life a row of disused town centre shops as a community and business space.

EDINBURGH CITY CENTRE: Encouraging emerging artists to adopt street litter bins and repaint them with imaginative designs.

GORGIE, EDINBURGH: A new vision for underused and empty shop units along Gorgie Road.

LEITH: Identifying ‘windows of opportunity’ where accessible private space could merge with the public realm along Leith Walk.

FORT WILLIAM: A vision of how the Highland town could reconnect with its waterfront and encourage marine tourism. For more information on each of the designs, and to vote for your favourite, visit the Scotland’s Towns Partnership website.

Source: Scotsman 

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