The Resilient Borders project is essentially about community participation in imagining a sustainable future for Galashiels and the Central Borders. Looking far ahead, we asked some fundamental questions about how the town can transform itself to provide high levels of social support, well payin
g skilled jobs, great new tourism opportunities and a low carbon future.
Building on the work produced by Master’s students at the University of Edinburgh’s Advanced Sustainable Design programme, the first workshop gathered insights about what is important to participants as a community. It asked: “What do you think future developments in Galashiels and the Borders should focus on?”
We used a Focused Discussion Method to develop a series of fundamental themes that help us understand the characteristics of a reimagined community. In general, the session invited participants to look at the student projects, discuss their initial responses, explore their significance as a community, and collectively arrive at a set of themes for future development.
The themes that resulted from the first workshop were:
- To weave Galashiels’ identity and place in the world.
- To create an inclusive and diverse community.
- To reinforce a culture that is creative, entrepreneurial and in control of its future.
- To preserve and develop the best of the built and natural environment.