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Building Design Capacity

November 10 2008

'Architecture and Design in NEW initiative to raise design standards'

Architecture + Design (A+DS) is leading a new initiative to raise design skills in Scottish planning authorities by supporting the first pilot project of 'Capacitycheck'.

Capacitycheck, a new method of appraising and developing urban design skills, will be used in Inverness by the Highland Council. An assessment of the skills available to the council and other agencies will be followed by a capacity-building plan. The aim is to help everyone involved in the planning process to raise design standards of development.

Speaking of the new initiative Diarmaid Lawlor, A+DS's Head of Urbanism, said:

"Capacitycheck assesses the present skills, awareness and understanding of an individual or organisation, or determines what capacity a person, project or organisation requires. It supports training, education and learning on the job for councillors, design champions, communities, clients and a wide range of built environment professionals. These are the people on whom higher standards of design depends."

The Capacitycheck initiative has been launched with unprecedented support from design and planning organisations. The new method is available to download free (and order a free printed copy) at

In the words of the Capacitycheck guide and website:

"Capacitycheck can help professionals to free themselves from their silos; politicians to become effective champions of design; communities to be empowered; landowners and developers to discover the value of making places; and students to learn how to work in an urban context."

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