Lochside is a housing estate on the North side of Ayr. Our clients were the local housing association who were keen to work with local residents to design two new public greenspaces which would be developed as part of the regeneration of the area. This created a challenge as neither of these spaces existed on the ground and it was not even possible to visit the sites due to on-going demolition work.
We trained a group of local people and staff from the housing association in placemaking principles and worked with them to develop a strong place vision based on existing public spaces in the area. This highlighted a number of issues which would have a bearing on the new spaces: connectivity (especially for children); quality of design and management; functionality and use.
This core placemaking group was then responsible for engaging with the new residents and other local stakeholders to ensure that the new spaces were fit for purpose and that they connected with the rest of the area (this was particularly important since only some of the local housing stock was being upgraded and there was a danger that the community could fragment). This has been successfully achieved and the new spaces created.
The new development has been highly commended by the Chartered Institute of Housing and particularly complemented on the way in which the public spaces had been developed.