Resilient Design


Climate change and limited resources require new approaches to how we live and how to design. It requires solutions that have the capacity to adapt to changing conditions and that have the ability to bounce back after disturbances or interruptions.

UrbanPioneers aims to create systems that provide for basic human needs, that are simple, passive and flexible.

We aim to use resources that are locally available, renewable or reclaimed resources.

We aim to create environments with more diverse communities, ecosystems, economies and social systems in order for them to respond to interruptions or change, making them inherently more resilient.

Urban Woodlands


Urban Woodlands (all woodlands, groups of trees, and individual trees located in urban and peri-urban areas) are the backbone of Green Infrastructure, forming part of networks of multifunctional greenspaces supporting the natural and ecological processes integral to the health and quality of life of sustainable communities. Benefits that mature trees can deliver in our towns or cities are absorbing greenhouse gasses, lowering of stress, boosting happiness, reducing flood risk.

“When the New York City park department measured the economic impact of its trees, the benefits added up to $120m a year. There were $28m worth of energy savings, $5m worth of air quality improvements and $36m of costs avoided in mitigating storm water flooding.”

[The importance of urban forests: why money really does grow on trees, The Guardian, 12.10.2016]

UrbanPioneers have pledged to plant at least 1 million urban trees over next few years and are members of the Tree Design and Action Group supporting the role of trees in built environments.

Designing for Dementia & older people


In an aging society the growing number of people living with age-related changes and impairments such as dementia presents one of our biggest challenges. Impairments may include sensory, mobility or cognitive (or sometimes a combination of them all) which can affect people’s functioning, behaviour, independence and ultimately, their quality of life.

UrbanPioneers have developed a design guidance for daylight spaces to meet the needs of older people. This work guides our design approach not only for care environments but also for all open spaces in our urban environment.

Director Marion Preez is an Associate at the Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling.

Free Play


Unguided free play is critical for the development of children and young people. UrbanPioneers have pledged their support to Scotland’s Play Charter hoping to bring back the sight and sound of children playing in our streets, promoting the importance of play and campaigning to create increased play opportunities for all children.

Director Liane Bauer is a board member of Play Scotland.