Website aims to reimagine citizens’ relationship with land

Written by Jenni Davidson on 10 June 2021 in News

Scottish Land Commission opens new digital platform

Credit: Pixabay

A new website aims to inspire citizens to think differently about land and its uses.

Launched today by the Scottish Land Commission, will encourage people to consider how land affects all areas of their life, from employment to community facilities to house prices.

The intention is to change the view of land as something ‘out there’ that you visit, into something that impacts everybody all the time no matter where they live. The website is part of a wider campaign that will highlight stories of people coming together to use land to benefit the community and to combat problems such as social inequality, loneliness and lack of facilities.

One example of this is After the Pandemic, an organisation using creativity and community to solve challenges brought on by Covid-19 and the climate emergency.

After the Pandemic is repurposing 3,000 square metres of derelict land in the centre of Glasgow into a cultural park during the upcoming COP26 conference.

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The land, which is located directly under the M8 in central Glasgow, will be used as an outdoor exhibition space featuring dozens of organisations, as well as playing host to a variety of live performances and interactive sessions.

Another example is Bellfield Church in Portobello, where residents took advantage of the Scottish Government’s Community Right to Buy Scheme to keep the building in the community – the first time this was used in an urban area.

The campaign aims to inspire Scottish residents – particularly those in urban areas – to participate in land-related conversations. The hope is that these stories will inspire more people to get involved and take action in their local communities.

Hamish Trench, chief executive of the Scottish Land Commission, said: “The way we own and use land influences many parts of our everyday lives. From the price and availability of housing, access to greenspace, the effects of derelict sites in the heart of our communities, our ability to take climate action to giving people the means and confidence to build businesses and communities. ‘MyLand’ shines a light on communities taking an interest in the land around them so that it benefits everybody. We hope that these stories inspire people to have a look at the land around them and stir interest to take action. Helping to create a Scotland where everybody benefits from the ownership, management and use of the nation’s land.”

As part of the campaign, the Scottish Land Commission will also be launching a podcast, The Lay of the Land, hosted by filmmaker and broadcaster Calum Maclean.

The podcast will explore what land means to the people of Scotland, from the way it is used and owned and how those decisions are made to the reuse of derelict sites and the transformations that have happened in communities across Scotland.


About the author

Jenni Davidson is a journalist at PublicTechnology sister publication Holyrood, where a version of this story first appeared. She tweets as @HolyroodJenni.

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