We understand the past,
review the present and envision the future
Understanding and Evaluating
The first stage in most of our work involves understanding place, people and cultural, social and economic context. This provides a base upon which deeper understanding can be built and through which informed analysis of issues, challenges and opportunities can be developed.
We strive to take an integrative approach at all times, identifying connections between what may at first sight appear to be isolated issues and activities and looking for integrated solutions. An important part of our work is often to review existing or emerging plans, strategies and policies and to identify both intended and – just as importantly – unintended consequences: the knock-on effects that are often overlooked.
Integrated Sustainability Appraisal is one of the methods we use frequently to ensure that the interconnections and interactions between issues affecting environmental, social and economic wellbeing are considered comprehensively. This is best approached as an integral part of the plan-making process, rather than as a final stage or even an “add-on”.
At an even more “hands-on” level, we use methods such as PlaceCheck to inform our understanding of the places we are working in and to engage clients and stakeholders in the process of identifying the things that work, those that don’t and changes that need to be achieved.