I had arranged to have a meeting with Joan Geddes from the Fife Council’s Physical Environment and Regeneration Team , at the Town House Kirkcaldy at 0900hrs. Unfortunately, Joan was not available, but I was able to met with someone from the same team. Gill Baldwin, a landscape architect and I had a discussion over a cup of tea and I was able to explain the MDes research project and presenting an initial powerpoint presentation of my findings and research to date.
The aim of the meeting for me, was to try to establish any opportunities to link in with any of the potential development schemes that the Physical Environment and Regeneration Team were workingh on currently or in the near future.
I feel my presentation was well received by Gill, as it enabled us to discuss a wider variety of topics related to my own project. This council team have a reasonably wide remit and are linked to other teams such as the Transport team etc. There is potential to tap into the council archives with regard to photographic sources and to make new links to other contacts within the council.
Town Centre Regeneration Initiative; Economic Develoment; Town Centre Management; Kirkcaldy Civic Spaces Project, etc.
The emphasis of my research at the moment was on wayfinding as a way to develop an enhancement of the towns access routes by creating information flow signage and clearer routes of traffic flow. This would ultimately benefit all users of the wayfinding to improve navigation and information for improved traffic flow and to highlight features and palces to visit in the town.
Gill’s comments were that signage / wayfinding was perhaps too obvious a selection and commented that I should perhaps look an a more urbanist approach by developing ideas for walking and cycle routes linked with the huge potential to develop innovative design ideas for the main promenade along the riverfront.
Flooding : interestingly, on Tuesday 30 March, Kirkcaldy was subject to the worst flooding on the promenade for 30 years, due to a combination of heavy rain and extreme high winds, which compounded to create 3o foot high waves. Flooding of buildings and roads along the promenade of the ‘Lang Toun’, highlighted a real problem to be assessed and solved for a future strategy. I will post photos later from the local press for reference.
TASKS: I now need to rethink my strategy for my project and perhaps re-assess the research question. I have already started looking at case studies from other coastal towns, such as Rhyl in Wales and Clacton-on Sea , to compare how a development process for Kirkcaldy can be developed.
Hopefully, Gill Baldwin will be able to provide contacts with other relevant people and departments within Fife Council, to enable me to make further stakeholder links.
There is also the possibility of participating in future development workshops for a variety of different projects.
Many thanks to Gill for her time and expertise in discussing my proposed design research project.