The purpose of this topical conference, which took place on 29 May 2013 in the University of Edinburgh, was to explore: Body-Scotland

What could we be doing differently to maximise social benefits from physical infrastructure investments?

The 2008 banking crisis precipitated fundamental challenges for Scottish regeneration efforts large and small. Many master-plans were stalled, and projects wound-up, as funding was cut and finance became restricted. A central policy response of both the UK and Scottish Governments has been to bring forward planned infrastructure investments with the purpose of creating jobs and improving access to skills, training and related opportunities for our struggling communities while stimulating wider economic growth.

This conference gathered over 100 cross-sector participants to focus on what more can be done to deliver meaningful community regeneration outcomes from physical infrastructure investments such as waterfront developments. A number of materials are available for download at the links below.

Video Presentations

Films of the keynote speakers’ contributions, including Nicola Sturgeon’s opening presentation (below), are available in a special playlist on our YouTube channel.

Speaker Slides

Some of the key speakers used presentation slides to accompany their contributions. Please click on the links below to access PDF copies:

Myths and Reality: The Bidders’ Ecosystem – Willie Watt, Convener of Practice, Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland

Infrastructure Investment at the Community Level – Gordon MacRae, Head of Communications and Policy, Shelter Scotland

A Commonwealth Games Legacy for Scotland – Francesca Osowska, Director: The Commonwealth Games and Sport, Scottish Government

On The Ground: Dundee Waterfront – Mike Galloway, Director of City Development, Dundee City Council

On The Ground: Revitalising Aberdeen – John Quinn, Head of Housing and Regeneration Investment, Aberdeen City Council

On The Ground: Clyde Gateway – Ian Manson, Chief Executive, Clyde Gateway

On The Ground: More Than Housing – Lorraine McLaren, Neighbourhood Renewal Manager, Glasgow Housing Association


Some of our guest speakers also provided SURF with blog articles to complement their input:

Strategic Infrastructure: Who Leads? Experience in Northern Ireland – Prof Greg Lloyd, Head of School of the Built Environment, University of Ulster

Procurement Reform: Which Way Forward for Scotland? – Peter Reekie, Director of Finance, Scottish Futures Trust

Procurement’s Ecosystem – Willie Watt, Convener of Practice, Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland

Ensuring a Lasting Legacy from 2014 – Francesca Osowska, Director: The Commonwealth Games and Sport, Scottish Government

Electronic Voting

Throughout the day, guests had the opportunity to vote on multiple-choice questions via electronic keypads. One of the questions asked participants to identify which of a number of conventional claims for infrastructure investments were most and least convincing.

You can see the results of these sessions in a graph-based format broken down by sector by clicking on the link below:

Electronic Voting Results

Other Materials

Please click here to download the conference programme.

Please click here to download the delegates list.

Special Thanks

SURF is grateful to the following organisations for supporting this conference:

  • Aberdeen City Council
  • Clyde Gateway
  • Glasgow Housing Association
  • Institute of Civil Engineers (Scotland)
  • Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
  • Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Scotland)
  • Royal Town Planning Institute (Scotland)
  • Scottish Government (Learning Networks Challenge Fund)