About Us

The Scottish Alliance for People and Places brings together a wide range of organisations from across the planning and placemaking sector in Scotland to articulate a united and compelling vision for a more inclusive, respected, holistic and innovative system of planning.

Our Vision

The Scottish Alliance for People and Places has a vision for a planning system that is inclusive, respected, ambitious and holistic. We believe in a system that inspires and empowers civic participation, recognises the positive force that quality economic development can play in creating a more equal society, and is built on fostering strong relationships through consensus and collaboration.

The unfortunate truth is that our current system for planning our places does not always command the confidence of people and communities. It does not always inspire the participation and active citizenship to which Scotland should aspire. It can exacerbate inequality, rather than reducing it, and be inward looking and risk-averse, as opposed to ambitious and innovative.

We passionately believe that creating great places can be a force for good in the lives of people and communities in Scotland. The quality of the spaces around us, in which we live and work, is crucial to the advancement of our physical, mental and social wellbeing.

There is a once in a generation opportunity on the horizon through the forthcoming review of Scottish planning policy to ensure that people are at the heart of their places.


We believe the following aims and objectives articulate the scale of this ambition. Scotland’s planning system must:

  • Be simple, ambitious, engaging with communities at the earliest possible stage to foster consensus and collaboration among all interests by utilising effective mediation;

  • Deliver sufficient affordable mixed tenure housing, and recognise that we live in a society where homelessness is unacceptable;

  • Have the confidence to utilise forward looking longer term plans as a means for encouraging early involvement and delivering consistency in place-making;

  • Bring together community and spatial planning in a more holistic way to recognise the interdependency of health, build environment and economic outcomes;

  • Encourage quality development in the right places at the right times by engaging constructively and proactively with business;

  • Deliver high quality and sustainable built and digital infrastructure, and recognise digital capability as a fundamental utility in modern society;

  • Empower and inspire communities to plan their own places, particularly young people, and embrace modern technology, capacity building and skills development as a vehicle for civic participation; and,  

  • Respect those charged with delivering great planning through sufficient resources.

Who We Are

The Scottish Alliance for People and Places is a collection of organisations working across the place-making and planning sector.

We have come together for the first time in recognition of the unique opportunity to build a more inclusive, respected, efficient and ambitious system of planning that puts people at the heart of their places.

Our goal is to ensure the forthcoming review of planning policy in Scotland meets the ambitions of communities, the built environment profession and the Scottish economy by working with government, parliament and local communities to articulate a compelling argument for change and develop constructive ideas for how to realise that change.

We want to raise awareness of the importance of planning great places to the lives everyone in Scottish society, and encourage greater active civic participation.