What kind of place should Scotland be, what key characteristics should our country have, and how should we present ourselves to the world?

We are traversing a complex and particularly politicised period in Scotland, which in the past six years has included: Scotland's independence referendum, parliamentary and local elections in Scotland, three UK General Elections, and the EU Referendum in 2016. 

In this context, we need to be in the business of shaping Scotland's future, and exploring the options and means that will achieve the best possible results for as many of our citizens as possible.

Our approach to this stresses the dual importance of both People and Place. We are exploring some of the key issues debated in Scottish politics such as Scotland’s Towns, Scotland’s Cities, Public Service Reform and Community Empowerment. Advocating research by our board members in these particular areas has ensured that the CSPP is engaged in the policy development process delivering innovative, fresh thinking. For more on how the CSPP develops policy proposals and helps shape debate, read our ‘What We Do’ page. 

Some of the ways in which we have developed political reach and profile are:

  • Creating the Scotland’s Towns Partnership.
  • Driven by our US policy associate, Chuck Dalldorf, promoting a ‘League of Cities’, now known as the Cities Alliance advocated by the Scottish Government and adopted by the 7 cities.
  • Publishing the Reshaping Scotland Herald supplement on public services in the 21st century.
  • Creating the Commission for School Reform in partnership with Reform Scotland. Read the final report: By Diverse Means.
  • Releasing of our provocation paper on health entitled A National Health Service or an Empty Umbrella? in August 2014, informed by a series of dialogue dinners related to NHS Scotland and other discussion events.
  • Participating in parliamentary inquiries, incorporating our members' input and views into our submissions. 

Importance of People and Place

The CSPP places equal importance on thinking about and acting on ‘People’ and ‘Place' to improve the lives of all of us who live in Scotland.

People and place are very closely linked, often in complex ways. We all live somewhere; perhaps where we were born and raised, perhaps elsewhere. We may work in the same place that we live, or we may travel to work, shop, or for social activities.

We are also increasingly aware that that there are many differences between the different places that we are all have an attachment to. Employment patterns are different; facilities and services are different; life chances vary between places. Our public services – those that are the direct responsibilities of different spheres of government - aim to make the most appropriate provision for different people in different places and try to equalise life chances.

The CSPP will continue to work on trying to help people better understand such differences and how we best address these. To read more fully about our policy work relating to 'People' and 'Place', please click 'find out more' above.

More on people and place

As part of our activities related to ‘Place‘ we are engaged with other people and organisations to explore ideas and actions that relate to:

Scotland's Cities | READ MORE →
Scotland's Towns | READ MORE →

In improving the lives of ‘People’ we consider that effective public services are key to enhancing life chances and lives. In our view discussion of the kind of public services we need are too often reduced to trench warfare arguments about ‘More money… less money ..’ or ‘More resources… fewer resources…’ We are currently developing a project exploring ‘realised universalism – why it matters more and more each day’.

Public Service Innovation Read more →
Centre for Scottish Public Policy
c/o Digby Brown LLP
160 Causewayside
Causewayside House
Edinburgh EH9 1PR
Follow us