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Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative

sustainable communities

Related Planning Information


Sandy Robinson
0131 244 7446

Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative


SSCIThe Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative - Two years on, from March 17, 2011, provides an overview of 11 SSCI exemplar projects and the approaches taken by their project teams. It describes their achievements and also the challenges faced over the first two years. The report aims to highlight the value of shared experience - if Scotland is to become better able to deliver high quality places, it is important that information and experiences are disseminated widely.

SSCI Charrette Mainstreaming Programme was launched March 3, 2011


The Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative(SSCI) was launched in June 2008 to encourage the creation of places, designed and built to last, where a high quality of life can be achieved. Local authorities, landowners, the development industry and others were invited to submit proposals which demonstrated ambition in addressing a number of principles.

The Initiative is about creating places which are ambitious and inspiring, raising standards and developing skills in design, architecture and sustainable construction. It is also about taking a long term view and is concerned with outcomes and delivery.

68 participants

The SSCI attracted significant interest and 68 submissions from a variety of sources in locations across Scotland. These submissions range from large scale urban regeneration to very small rural projects.


The criteria for assessment of the submissions was set against the five questions in the SSCI, and was carried out by Scottish Government officials representing various policy interests; along with key partners including Scottish Natural Heritage, Transport Scotland, Homes for Scotland and Architecture + Design Scotland. An Assessment Panel, chaired by the Scottish Government's Chief Planner, was appointed to consider the submissions and provide advice to Ministers.

SSCI exemplars

Eleven proposals are awarded recognition that they are working towards "Creating a Scottish Sustainable Community". These exemplar projects have been selected as best capable of demonstrating how sustainable communities can be delivered. Click on the thumbnails below to view the video presentations. If you are unable to view these presentations, they are also available on the Scottish Government You Tube Channel

An Camas Mor, Aviemore. Rothiemurchus Estate.


Craigmillar, Edinburgh.PARC Craigmillar.


Grandhome & Whitestripes, Aberdeen. Grandhome Trust.


Knockroon, Cumnock. The Princes' Foundation for the Built Environment.


Ladyfield, Dumfries. The Crichton Trust.


Lochgelly, Fife. Fife Council.


Maryhill Locks, Glasgow.Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership.


Raploch, Stirling.Raploch URC.


Speirs Locks, Glasgow. Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership.


Tornagrain, near Inverness. Moray Estates.


Whitecross, Linlithgow. Morston Assets Ltd.



SSCI Charrette Series

The SSCI Charrette Series took place in March 2010 and involved Andres Duany and a team of experts working on detailed design workshops with three of the selected SSCI exemplar projects. The workshops or 'charrettes' took place at Ladyfield in Dumfries, Lochgelly in Fife and at Grandhome and Whitestripes in Aberdeen. The report on the charrettes is here.

SSCI Charrette Mainstreaming Programme Building on the success of the SSCI Charrette Series which ran in March 2010, the Scottish Government has launched a new charrette programme, aimed at mainstreaming this innovative approach to development in the built environment within Scottish design and planning practice.

Charrette mainstreaming programme

For the third year of the charrette mainstreaming programme, the Scottish Government is providing grant funding and the charrette projects are being managed by the project sponsors themselves. There will be two separate charrette programmes: one for charrettes sponsored by planning authorities in support of Local Development Plans and a second one in support of the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Action Plan which can be sponsored by any organisation interested in the regeneration of a particular town centre. Charrette projects in both programmes are expected to take place in the period January to March 2014.

Further details of the charrette programmes are available from Jim Mitchell (0131 244 7476, Jim.mitchell@scotland.gsi.gov.uk) or Sandy Robinson (0131 244 7446, Sandy.robinson@scotland.gsi.gov.uk). Information on the Town Centre Action Plan can be found at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/11/6415

Sustainable Design Ideas Competition

As part of the SSCI, a design competition was run, in collaboration with the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), based around the SSCI exemplar site at Whitecross, near Linlithgow. The focus of the competition was on realisable, sustainable designs and the final submissions were made by design/developer partnerships.