The project “In the Footsteps of Geddes” is an invitation for young people like you to actively participate in planning and engaging with local heritage by conducting your own Regional Survey, using Geddes’s Survey-Analysis-Plan technique. The guide below will help you plan how to perform it and engage others in the process.

What are the challenges and opportunities for your community? Creating nicer places to play in or hang out? Helping people to learn about different cultures? Sharing the history of a place? Regional Survey will help you answer these and other questions to do with your place.

By using this guide you can become an active citizen, working towards positive change for you and people living in your area. You will also learn about various methods and techniques that are used by planners and practice them yourself. In the process you will be raising awareness of local heritage and engaging others. By the end of the process you will be able to create an action plan and improve your community.





  1. Use Place Standard Tool (PST) to ‘stock-take’ the area (explained in the following chapter).
  2. Record and map the area’s heritage, including the use
    of technologies and methods described in the following chapter.
  3. Find out who used the heritage in the past? Who is using it now? Who could be using it in the future? Are there current and historic links to other places?


  1. Review of PST findings – what do they tell us about our area?
  2. Review of materials recorded with the use of modern technologies.
  3. Analysis of identified heritage – what do we know about it now? What else can we learn? How can it be used it for the benefit of our community?
  4. Group conversations and brainstorms with your peers


  1. Traced drawings, visualisations, digital presentations of ideas to support the proposed ideas.
  2. Engagement with your peers and others.
  3. Action plan for the area focused around the identified heritage.
  4. Pop-up exhibitions to present the findings.



The various ways to survey and analyse your place are outlined in the following part of the guide.


The places where we spend our time have an important impact on our lives. The way a place looks, and feels can influence our health, happiness and wellbeing.

The Place Standard Tool was created to help you survey the quality of a chosen place and to understand how we can all work together improve it.


Answer each question by recording a rating on a scale from 1 to 7. The rating should be agreed amongst the group carrying out the assessment. Take note of the reasons for your answers.

When you have answered all the questions, plot each rating on the ‘compass diagram’. After doing so, you can reflect on the results by agreeing priorities and actions. Try to list the main issues.

There may be occasions where the question does not seem relevant or where you feel you do not have enough information to answer. In these cases you should think about the area that is being evaluated as part of a larger place or ensure that there is a way in which community views can properly be taken into account.



The produced diagram shows at a glance the areas where a place is performing well and where there is room for improvement. Where a place has been assessed as good, the shape will be fuller, reaching towards the edge of the circle. Where it is viewed as performing poorly, the shape will be smaller, remaining towards the centre.

There is no benchmark or minimum standard. The tool is used to determine the strengths and assets of a place and to indicate areas in which action may be taken.