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Community Land Scotland

Urban Community Landownership in Scotland in 2018

On the 16th March 2018, Community Land Scotland published its report on ‘Urban Community Landownership in Scotland in 2018” which will look at the current state of urban community landownership in Scotland and the potential it holds for the future of our towns and cities.

Community Land Scotland was able to identify two geographically based communities that own land in urban areas and a further thirteen communities are in the process of buying land. The majority own or are buying green space or community woodlands. A further seventeen communities own or are in the process of buying buildings. There are likely to be other geographic community groups in urban Scotland that own land, but they may not have applied for the Scottish Land Fund or self-identify as community landowners, meaning that Community Land Scotland was unable to identify them during the course of this research.

Looking to the future, Community Land Scotland believes that owning green space will continue to be a priority for urban communities but that there is also potential for communities to purchase for affordable housing, town centre regeneration, community business development, facilities for families such as playparks and nurseries and healthy living services including sports grounds. Looking at the groups in the early stages of buying land, these types of development are likely to become a reality within the next year or two.

Urban community landowners face a number of challenges that differ to those in rural areas, these include higher land values, a lack of awareness of community landownership, the predominance of communities of interest rather than communities of geography, difficulties in identifying who owns land and a perception that urban communities have less experience of implementing self-help initiatives.

Community Land Scotland recommends that, if urban community landownership is to reach its potential that more needs to be done to raise awareness of community landownership in urban areas; that the early pioneers receive enhanced support until there are enough urban community landowners to make peer-to-peer learning effective; that new connections need to be made across policy areas and that the organisations supporting communities need to make efforts to ensure that the opportunity to own land is equally available to affluent and more deprived communities.

Follow the links below to read the full or summary report.