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  • Award Winners 2012

    Strategic Landscape Planning

    Image: Optimised Environments Ltd
    Temporary Greenspace Study

    OPEN was commissioned in late 2010 to prepare a feasibility and mapping research study exploring the potential for vacant, derelict, and ‘stalled’ land to be used in the short or medium term for temporary greenspace and other interim land uses. The pilot study was commissioned by the Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT) in the context of the NPG2 National Projects agenda. It asked OPEN to identify actions which achieve environmental and social benefits, and to propose temporary landscapes that are fundable and maintainable on a temporary yet self-sustaining basis.

    The pilot study is the first of its kind in Scotland, and has been instrumental in bringing the discourse on feasible and practicable uses for vacant and derelict land to the forefront. It uniquely applies emerging government policy in a project which melds research with practice to promote the value of landscape architecture. In doing so, it has highlighted to a wide range of professional and public bodies the role that landscape architecture offers when resolving issues relating to urban land use.

    The judges said: ‘The temporary use of sites for amenity, recreation and growing food has been discussed for many years and few doubt its important role to the health and wellbeing to urban and indeed rural, communities especially in the current economic climate.

    ‘This study is likely to be influential in that debate as a result of its extremely clear, legible, focused and fun message. Enthusiasm and energy leaps from the page and it is this passion that is likely to extend its impact well beyond Edinburgh.

    ‘The study is structured in such a way that the creativity and imagination come to the front.
    The authors cut through the analysis to provide just enough to justify what follows without losing the thread of the idea. The study presents inspiration from around the world and generates some of its own.
    ‘We were most impressed with the ideas that were of their place and of their time (the unique challenges of feeding pandas in Edinburgh is an example). We were enthused by this piece of work in its themes, approach and presentation. It is a piece of work that can inspire other landscape architects and to that end it changes us and our expectations. It suggests a vibrant, imaginative and sometimes humorous future for our profession.’

    Landscape architect: OPEN (Optimised Environments).
    Client: Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT) with Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN).
    Quantity surveyor: Thomas & Adamson.
    Policy, guidance, implementation of projects: City of Edinburgh Council.
    Urban regeneration companies and implementation of projects: PARC; Waterfront Edinburgh.

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