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Investment in the public realm “key to Scotland’s future” – SCDI

November 2017 The Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) has published an innovative report examining how place can enhance economic prosperity and encourage Scotland into a growth mindset for future city development.

Through convening an expert working group, comprising thought leaders in planning and development of public realm and cultural infrastructure spaces, SCDI has produced Productive Places: Creating spaces for the new economy to thrive. This thought-provoking report is intended to start the conversation about the importance of place and its role in enhancing economic growth in a digital era.

Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI, said:

“Productive Places is a response to the overwhelming economic transition Scotland has undergone in the last twenty years and how, as a society, we must shift mindset to enhance future city development.

“SCDI is looking to the Scottish Government, local authorities, businesses and third sector agencies to redouble efforts to reinvigorate Scotland’s public spaces and green places, recognising the vital importance of their role in our economy, in social-equity, environment and health.

“Our hope is that this report becomes a catalyst for conversations about Scotland’s needs in a future post-digital economy, how policymakers can support this and how business leaders will facilitate it. Scotland’s cities are the heartbeat of our future economy, and investment in our public realm is key to Scotland’s future.”

The report was authored by Professor Brian Evans, Head of Urbanism at the Glasgow School of Art. Professor Evans added:

“By 2050, the UN predicts that 75% of the world’s population will live in cities – we are in the century of the city.  In the global north there is a paradigm change from the industrial city to the knowledge city that are clustered around universities, cultural and learning neighbourhoods where there is a demand for mixed-use neighbourhoods and an experience economy.

“In this changing world, the quality of place becomes ever more important. Scotland’s cities are well placed to participate in this new economy. It was a privilege to work with SCDI to prepare this important paper as a contribution to the discussion on place as a driver of the future economy.”