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Demographic analysis and local planning - with the methodology of new NRS sub-Council Area projections as a case study

23rd March 2016 1.40pm, The Dome, New Register House, Princes Street, Edinburgh

Ludi Simpson, University of Manchester

All planning is about the future and is helped by demographic projections of those aspects of population that are not under the planner's control. Population studies supply answers with a measurable amount of uncertainty, advising the likely demand for services, housing and jobs. In turn, local planners ask demographers for the likely impact on population of plans they make to release housing land or attract employment. The ways in which these functions are supported by demographic software will be reviewed. Most of this work is carried out for specific development sites, or for strategic local plans focusing on relatively large local areas. NRS is planning to publish population projections for smaller areas throughout Scotland in March, such as the multi-member electoral wards. The strategy adopted and problems encountered, and some solutions, will be presented along with a review of priorities for applied demographic research for localities. Ludi was the academic advisor to the NRS project.