An aerial view of the coastal city of Arran during sunset in Girvan, Scotland
16th January 2023

Girvan’s place-based regeneration 

Creating a twenty-year strategy for the future.

Urban Foresight is coming to the end of a project in Girvan on the west coast of Scotland.  

It’s been a revelation – for showing what ‘place-based’ can really mean.  

The seaside town needed a long-term plan for the future that delivered on promises to enhance wellbeing, economic performance, and sustainability. 

Despite having a picturesque coastal setting, some great Victorian architecture, a strong sense of community and globally recognised businesses, past regeneration plans had not progressed as hoped.

In a project commissioned by South Ayrshire council, Urban Foresight used its expertise in place-based solutions, in collaboration with Create Streets, to develop a twenty-year place strategy.  

The plan encompassed design, architecture, and regeneration alongside a long-term understanding of economic development, transport, and sustainability.  

Background analysis and data collection led to a series of workshops which brought together public institutions in the area. These sessions, which were exploring ideas for reshaping the town also created lasting relationships,  an essential component in making this transformation strategy a success.  

The insights we gained allowed us to provide a bespoke solution that integrated architecture, transport, healthcare, community engagement and economics into one plan with four objectives. 

  1. Cherishing and celebrating historic buildings and natural assets 
  1. Creating green and healthy streets 
  1. Diversifying sources of employment and uses of the town centre 
  1. Empowering active citizens and neighbourhoods 

The final output was a revitalisation strategy with specific actions for the council, civic organisations, and businesses to take forward over the years ahead. 

Taken together, the project represented what truly place-based work can mean: not just emphasising either urban design or policy but looking at both together. 


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