Most urban Scots live in flats, and we're all aware that these buildings can pose real challenges to residents when it comes to maintenance, energy efficiency, repairs and relations with neighbours and owners. We worked with Built Environment Forum Scotland and Under One Roof to host a national conference in Glasgow's Lighthouse to discuss issues relating to tenements. Tenements Today | Tenements Tomorrow formed part of our thirtieth anniversary celebrations for Doors Open days, and formed the centrepiece of a tenements maintenance theme that also included local workshops on tenement maintenance in each of Scotland's cities.
Tenements Today | Tenements Tomorrow poster, by Dr. Mitch Miller
The conference, held on 18th September 2019, attracted 114 attendees who spent the day hearing from a mixture of academics, practitioners and experts in the field. The day's proceedings provided an engaging balance of theoretical discussions and practical advice, from speaker's presentations to interactive break-out sessions. In all, representatives of local tenants' associations from across Scotland attended, along with commercial factors, surveyors, housing association officers, local authority staff and teams from City Heritage Trusts. Our report on the day’s proceedings can be found here.
Participants at the conference relayed that the information shared and discussions had were enjoyable, helpful, interesting and relevant to their experiences with tenement maintenance. One secretary of an owners' association reported that the conference was “excellent and really relevant. Much to share with our committee. Many thanks”. Another conference attendee shared similar sentiments: “Fantastic content with a mix of speakers’ perspectives and current relevance”.
Tenements Today | Tenements Tomorrow conference, courtesy of @TheBEFS
Euan Leitch from Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS) summed up the conference by emphasising that tenement maintenance is a human need and environmental concern, and must be kept high on the political agenda. Owners should talk to their elected representatives, sharing their challenges and pointing politicians towards solutions currently being discussed, such as those of the Tenement Maintenance Working Group. Built Environment Forum Scotland has provided some helpful advice on how to approach elected representatives here.
We’d like to thank our funders at the Glasgow City Heritage Trust, the Scottish Government and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for helping us put on this engaging and relevant event.