No Longer Just a Rural Story: Reflecting on five years of Urban Land Reform

Event held March 2021

There is a long and successful history of urban community ownership in Scotland. Building on this foundation, land reform was applied to urban areas of Scotland in 2016, including notably the Scottish Land Fund and Community Right to Buy, creating an upsurge in urban community ownership initiatives. Urban community ownership has accelerated, bringing the benefits of ownership to new communities.

Land and buildings under community ownership in Scotland’s towns and cities include a huge range of assets, including historic buildings, woodlands and recreation areas, commercial and mixed use buildings, and housing developments. Urban groups now own 20% of all community-held assets in Scotland– 118 land or buildings which are now owned by local democratically accountable and non-profit organisations for the long term benefit of Scotland’s populations.

Event to launch our report celebrating the achievements of the first five years of Urban Land Reform and Community Ownership, discuss what has been learned, and look at what’s next.

The session was chaired by Martin Avila from the Kinning Park Complex in Glasgow. He was joined by Bernadette Hewitt (Barmulloch Community Development Company)Fatima Uygun (Govanhill Baths Community Trust)Neil Ritch (Scottish Land Fund / The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland) and Miriam Brett (Common Wealth).

These achievements are from just the first five years of urban land reform in Scotland—where will it go next? How do we accelerate the benefits of community ownership in urban areas? Urban land reform presents the opportunity to create more diverse and inclusive community ownership, but how do we ensure socially-just outcomes? What are the next steps for implementing a prosperity and wellbeing based economy which maximises Scotland’ uniquely successful land reform?