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SEDA Conference & EGM: What Makes a Sustainable Community?

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This year we are combining the news and business of our newly formed company with a special conference by holding the EGM along with a two-day event ‘What makes a Sustainable Community?’ in the historic setting of New Lanark. We shall be looking at the historical and European context and recent initiatives in Scotland – planned communities, including the government’s SSCI programme, and community initiatives such as Transition Towns and urban neighbourhood regeneration. We have a wide range of contributors & plenty of time for discussion and socialising as well as the usual tours, visits and time for some walks along the Clyde. Put the dates in your diaries!

Please note: fees payable by members of Community Organisations for attendance at this event are the same as those payable by SEDA members. Additionally, anyone wanting a more detailed programme and information about the workshops etc should contact Mary Kelly at mary@segalselfbuild.co.uk  t: 01668 219247 



Non-members & families are all welcome however, early booking is recommended in order to be sure your place is confirmed. Only current members will be eligible to vote in the EGM itself. 

Programme Outline:

There will be an earlier start than usual on the Friday from 10am to allow for all the talks as well as a tour of New Lanark- which has been specially arranged to allow us to see the hydro-electric system - and for us to meet up to have our evening meal together in the village.  The EGM business will take place between 10 and 1130 on Saturday morning so there is a later start for the conference – with talks, followed by lunch, some further talks, workshops and a closing session. The event will end with a second tour of New Lanark to see everything we couldn’t fit in on Friday… along with some visits to individual houses.

What Makes a Sustainable Community?

Recent initiatives to promote and support the development of new sustainable communities and eco-villages – not only in Scotland but elsewhere in the UK and Europe - have led many people to ask whether it is possible to identify the key ingredients for a sustainable community and, if so, what these might be. There is a lot of interest in trying to find out whether sustainability can be defined or measured in terms that go beyond the design and CO2 emissions. At the same time there is keen interest in examining how sustainable many of these new initiatives are.

This event aims to bring together people who are actively involved in many of the different initiatives whether as strategists, designers or members of the communities concerned. Whilst wanting to set an historical and European context the event will focus on local initiatives within Scotland, including both the top-down and bottom-up approaches as well as a mix of urban & rural developments. The SSCI definition of Sustainable Communities (2008) will be taken as the generator for discussion and feedback throughout the event.

The first day will provide a series of overviews followed by sessions focusing on the approaches taken through some of the different initiatives – and which will identify some of the key features which make them sustainable. The presentations will also cover different approaches – and would include the involvement of many different people in managing and dealing with changes and unforeseen results and with what happens next as well as making sure the community buys into whatever is going on. The sessions focusing on, and with contributions from, specific initiatives will continue on Day 2 which will be shorter overall than Day 1 but just as action-packed. Workshops and plenary sessions on both days will provide opportunities for participants to discuss and debate the features which are felt to make a sustainable community and to provide feed back to the event. For the workshops we are inviting people who have some experience or involvement in different projects outlined from different perspectives: existing residents, developers, architects, local authorities, community groups, planners etc.

The event will be featuring presentations from a range of contributors including Dr Nicholas Falk, founder director of URBED; Howard Liddell, Director of Gaia Architects; Professor Kevin Murray, Chair of the Academy of Urbanism; Sandy Robinson Principal Architect, Scottish Govt Built Environment Directorate; Lorna Davidson, Director of the New Lanark Trust; Malcolm Fraser Architect; Robin Harper former Green MSP for Lothians and Honorary Patron of SEDA, Karen Anderson, Architect and Chair of A+DS and Sue Guy, Sustaining Dunbar 2025 Vision Map & Action Plan Project. We’ll be looking at existing and ongoing approaches and planned initiatives from Europe as well as elsewhere in the UK through to the winning proposals for the RIAS Whitecross housing competition project along with the alternative ‘bottom-up approaches’ demonstrated elsewhere in Scotland and further afield.

Weekend fee (includes talks, refreshments and lunches on Friday & Saturday as well as the evening meal on Friday and all tours of New Lanark): £95 SEDA members; £125 non-members;  £175 council/ govt/ lge organisation rate; £65 students (we regret that there are only a limited number of places available at this reduced rate)

Friday only: £65 SEDA members; £95 non-members; £125 government departments; £40 students

Saturday only: £45 SEDA members; £65 non-members; £95 government; £30 students

A deposit equivalent to the higher of the appropriate daily rates payable is required to reserve a place.

As stated above, fees payable by members of Community Organisations for attendance at this event are the same as those payable by SEDA members. Additionally, anyone wanting a more detailed programme and information about the workshops etc should contact Mary Kelly at mary@segalselfbuild.co.uk




Ends: 04.06.2011

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