Research Projects

The Value of Design in the Built Environment (Scotland)

A research team directed by Douglas Wheeler with Ryden (Mark Robertson) and Austin-Smith-Lord (Graham Ross) was appointed by the Scottish Government at the end of October 2013 to carry out research on the Value of Design in the Built Environment. The aim of this research was to provide an analysis of how ‘value’ is handled in the development process in Scotland and the Team’s Methodology & Programme are summarised in the PDF available here (4.62MB).

The research which was published by Scottish Government Building Standards Division on behalf of Planning and Architecture Division in July is available here:. Link

The research report runs to fifty two pages with an Executive Summary and Appendices that includes four case studies. The publication of the research paper on the ‘Value of Design’ marks the first attempt, by the Scottish Government, to look into the value that good design can add to a place. The topic area is subjective and complex, with multiple factors that can influence value. Overall, the findings should help to continually support the central purpose of creating good quality sustainable places. This in turn should provide more confidence to the development industry, as well as communities, that investment in good design is important.

town-centre-regeneration‘Town Centre Regeneration: How Does It Work and What Can Be Achieved?’ Research over 18 months for the Scottish Government Housing and Regeneration Directorate to develop a clearer understanding of the activities taking place as parts of town centre regeneration.  Included applying a ‘theory of change’ approach and a review of nine Town Centre Regeneration Fund Projects.  Doug directed and managed the team and the research was published in September 2011.  The document is available here as a PDF.

Barriers To Delivering Mixed Use Development: Research for the Directorate of the Built Environment for Scottish Government. (Barriers to Mixed Use) research that was published in 2009.  The focus of the research was to establish whether problems exist in relation to the practical application of mixed use development.  The research identified the fifteen most significant real and perceived barriers and made recommendations to be taken forward by local authorities and/or the Scottish Government.  Subsequently facilitated a series of three events sponsored by Architecture+Design Scotland (A+DS) and Scottish Government Architecture & Place Division on delivering mixed use development and drafted two Learning Points (87 & 95).  Learning Point 87   Learning Point 95

Impact Of Empty Property Rates in North East: Research including literature review, interviews and workshops to identify evidence based conclusions on the impact of possible changes to empty property rates on the North East economy and recommendations for intervention for One NorthEast.

One NorthEast/ North East Assembly/ Sub Regional Partnerships: Sites and Premises Study for the North East Region with King Sturge.