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New Place Standard tools wins award for excellence in planning for wellbeing

The Place Standard tool provides a simple framework to structure conversations about a place – whether that place is well-established, undergoing change, or still being planned.

The places we spend our time can influence our health and wellbeing, and the opportunities we have access to. This tool helps users – communities and professionals – identify priorities for improvement by considering the physical and social aspects of a place against 14 different questions.

The tool was developed by NHS Health Scotland, the Scottish Government and Architecture Design Scotland and has recently won the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) award for excellence in planning for wellbeing.

How does it work?

The tool asks 14 different questions and translates the responses into an easily understandable graphic, which helps to plot the assets of a place. Shown below is an example results diagram which is created once all the questions are completed and scored.

The place standard tool can help with:

  • Identifying community needs and assets
  • Aligning priorities and investment decisions – amongst agencies
  • Community empowerment
  • Action Planning
  • Informing Proposals – professional use
  • Reviewing proposals – both communities and professionals
  • Monitoring changes or investments in the longer term
  • Informing community after-care or stewardship
  • Shared learning

The tool is simple and free to use and you can find out more about it here and access the tool here.

Our view

Here at the National Park we are very supportive of the Place Standard tool and are looking at ways in which we can use it as part of our planning work and how we engage with communities.

With a number of Community Action Plans about to be developed, we think it could be a great tool for communities to use to help identify issues and priorities for their Community Action Plans – we look forward to trying it out over the next couple of months.

Congratulations to our colleagues at the Scottish Government, NHS Health Scotland and Architecture and Design Scotland on their achievement of winning the award! It is great to see all the hard work that has been undertaken in the development of the Place Standard being recognised at these UK National planning industry awards.

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