Blackburn was selected as one of the nine small towns in Scotland to support place-based climate action, working collaboratively with local stakeholders and the community. Climate Action Towns (CAT) supports the Scottish Government’s ‘Programme for Government 2020-21: Protecting Scotland, Renewing Scotland’.
The programme is being delivered by Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS) who have engaged with the local community of Blackburn and the stakeholders working in the area.
The Place Standard tool with a Climate lens was used to engage with the community and helped to identify the priorities for Blackburn Future, the Plan and has been used to develop actions for services and the community to work on. The year 1 report provided some key learning and opportunities for Blackburn which include:
• Traffic and parking –this scored low within the community and highlights the need for this to be included in the plan
• Work and the local economy – this also scored low due to employment opportunities in the area being limited along with young people noting that access to education, training and employment opportunities are low resulting in them needing to leave Blackburn
• Feeling safe – primary school children express concerns around feeling safe and there is a notable difference in perception between those that do feel safe and those that don’t
The Year 2 report highlighted that Blackburn is a compact town which should support walking and cycling easily. With strong community organisations there is the framework to incorporate acting on Climate Change along with existing community projects and initiatives.
This work has developed an understanding of the aspirations of the people of Blackburn
mainly around getting around easily, promoting active travel, improved public transport and strengthening the availability of shops and services that support fresh food, re-using existing assets and recycling materials and improving existing greenspace and access to it.
The final year of Climate Action Towns will work with groups to explore mechanisms for delivery of the Climate Actions identified in the Blackburn Future Plan.