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.

Inclusive Design

We aim to design inclusive spaces that cater for all and we enjoy investigating what that means for local communities. With Liane’s focus on children and young’s people right to play and Marion’s experience on older age and dementia related design we engage in ways that offer consideration for different needs and interests.

As part
 of our involvement in the Architecture Fringe Festival we have both lead and commissioned talks, workshops and research that explore access, diversity and equality. These have included: experiences of women in public spaces, moving through and using public spaces with invisible disabilities, different abilities and/ or sensory stress, place-making for people with different ethnic and social-economic backgrounds, living in older life. This involvement and work has given us a good understanding of requirements and needs of groups, which are often not heard or considered within our everyday lives.

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

Communities are colourful places with people of various backgrounds and needs. Our public spaces should reflect this and be inclusive and cater for all. These are the place we are interested in creating.

Director Liane Bauer is a board member of Play Scotland.

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.