Scotland is committed to creating healthier, more sustainable, integrated and diverse communities and there is significant work to be done in order to meet both present and future needs. To achieve better outcomes, given that we have changing demographics and an ageing population, it will fall on everyone working within the placemaking sector and beyond, to address this challenge when improving existing or designing new homes and communities.

The built environment must become more responsive to the changing needs within communities such as the urgent lack of housing options for younger and older people, recognise the changing demographics that will shape Scotland in the future, and address the economic and social needs of communities and varied social groups . In order to deliver innovative solutions to our current and future problems, we need to develop new approaches. Interest is growing within communities and across the third and public sectors for alternative approaches to housing delivery and for the creation of integrated communities which allow diversity to flourish. Co-housing, self-build and modular construction constitute a large percentage of housing elsewhere in Europe and have the potential to create a positive impact on the social, environmental, cultural and economic wellbeing of communities here in Scotland.

This conference will explore how a greater focus on innovative, sustainable and community-led planning can support both the development and future-proofing of communities, as well as seeking to influence changes in public policy, by an evolutionary approach to placemaking and the future of Scottish society.

Event Agenda

10:10 Opening remarks from the Chair

10:20 Session 1 – Changing demographics and the future implications for communities

Future population projections for Scotland – Bruce Whyte, Public Health Programme Manager, Glasgow Centre for Population Health

How a changing population is changing the Built Environment

Understanding and implementing the social, economic and cultural needs of communities – Phil Prentice, Chief Executive, Scotland’s Towns Partnership

The importance of planning and community engagement in future proofing Scotland’s built environment – Craig McLaren, Scotland Director, RTPI


11:50 Break

12:10 Session 2 – Social innovation and Placemaking 

Developments for co-housing and integrated communities – Petra Biberbach, Chief Executive, PAS

Delivering a sense of community in culturally diverse inner city areas – Margaret Fraser, Regeneration Manager, ng homes

Designing lifetime homes and communities; creating a built environment that is accessible and inclusive – Kirstin Taylor, Director, LDA Design

The role of smart building design

Social innovation systems for the built environment – Prof. Branka Dimitrijevic, Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange, Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde


13:40 Closing remarks from the chair

13:50 Networking lunch

15:00 Close

When and Where

Date and Time: 12th November, 10am-3pm

Venue: Saracen House, Glasgow

Booking and Further Information

Delegate places for this event are a limited  and these will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, so we do recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.

You can book your place by clicking here, Further information is available here.

SURF Members are entitled to a 50% discount on booking costs. Please email to arrange this.

Please note this is not a SURF event if you are enquiring about anything other than SURF member discount please email

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