National Planning Framework 4

National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) is our national spatial strategy for Scotland. It sets out our spatial principles, regional priorities, national developments and national planning policy. It should be read as a whole and replaces NPF3 and Scottish Planning Policy.

Annex D – Six Qualities of Successful Places

1. Healthy: Supporting the prioritisation of women’s safety and improving physical and mental health

Designing for:

  • lifelong wellbeing through ensuring spaces, routes and buildings feel safe and welcoming e.g. through passive surveillance and use of physical safety measures.
  • healthy and active lifestyles, through the creation of walkable neighbourhoods, food growing opportunities and access to nature and greenspace
  • accessibility and inclusion for everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, ability and culture
  • social connectivity and creating a sense of belonging and identity within the community
  • environmentally positive places with improved air quality, reactivating derelict and brownfield land, removing known hazards and good use of green and blue infrastructure

2. Pleasant: Supporting attractive natural and built spaces

Designing for:

  • positive social interactions including quality of public realm, civic spaces, streets and ensuring a lively and inclusive experience
  • protection from the elements to create attractive and welcoming surroundings, including provision for shade and shelter, mitigating against noise, air, light pollution and undesirable features, as well as ensuring climate resilience, including flood prevention and mitigation against rising sea levels
  • connecting with nature including natural landscape, existing landforms and features, biodiversity and eco-systems, integrating blue and green infrastructure and visual connection
  • variety and quality of play and recreation spaces for people of all ages and abilities
  • enjoyment, enabling people to feel at ease, spend more time outdoors and take inspiration from their surroundings

3. Connected: Supporting well connected networks that make moving around easy and reduce car dependency

Designing for:

  • active travel by encouraging more walking, wheeling and cycling together with reliable, accessible, public transport and shared transport hubs that allow for simple modal shifts
  • connectivity including strategic cycle routes, local cycle routes, footpaths, pavements, active travel networks, desire lines, destinations, permeability, accessibility and catering for different needs and abilities
  • convenient connections including local and regional interconnection, infrastructure, sustainable travel, interchange between public transport and active travel and supporting easy modal shifts in transport
  • pedestrian experience including safe crossing, pedestrian priority, reduced vehicular speed and noise, inclusive design and surfaces, assistive technology, reduced street clutter, catering for suitable vehicular parking and management of loading/unloading and deliveries and refuse collections

4. Distinctive: Supporting attention to detail of local architectural styles and natural landscapes to be interpreted into designs to reinforce identity

Designing for:

  • scale including density, building heights, massing, orientation, building lines and legibility
  • built form including mix of typologies, types, uses, sizes and tenures
  • sense of place including design influences, architectural styles, choice of materials and finishes, detailing, landscape design, active frontages and cultural context

5. Sustainable: Supporting the efficient use of resources that will allow people to live, play, work and stay in their area, ensuring climate resilience and integrating nature positive biodiversity solutions

Designing for:

  • transition to net-zero including energy/carbon efficient solutions, retrofitting, reuse and repurposing and sharing of existing infrastructure and resources
  • climate resilience and nature recovery including incorporating blue and green infrastructure, integrating nature positive biodiversity solutions
  • active local economy including opportunities for local jobs and training, work spaces, enabling working from home, supporting community enterprise and third sector
  • community and local living including access to local services and facilities, education, community growing and healthy food options, play and recreation and digital connectivity

6. Adaptable: Supporting commitment to investing in the long-term value of buildings, streets and spaces by allowing for flexibility so that they can meet the changing needs and accommodate different uses over time

Designing for:

  • quality and function, ensuring fitness for purpose, design for high quality and durability
  • longevity and resilience including recognising the role of user centred design to cater for changing needs over time and to respond to social, economic and environmental priorities
  • long-term maintenance including effective engagement, clarity of rights and responsibilities, community ownership/stewardship, continuous upkeep and improvements

Place Standard Tool and the delivery of successful places

The Place Standard contains 14 themes that support the Six Qualities of Successful Places, providing a consistent framework to consider and to assess the quality of new and existing places. The Place Standard tool Design Version is specifically created to support the consideration of development planning and design within the framework of the 14 Place Standard themes and to deliver on the Six Qualities of Successful Places.



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