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Urban Ideas Bakery in Stirling


The 4th International Bakery event was held in Stirling on 25-27 October 2010. The event was held in partnership with the Stirling Council, Architecture and Design Scotland and British Council.

The international bakery event was the third phase of the Urban Ideas Bakery, after a three-month period of diagnosis and agenda setting. The international bakery event was the slingshot that really starts the process moving.

Along with around 30 local bakers, there were eight international bakers from seven countries joining the event to 'bake' new and deliverable solutions for Stirling.

The theme of the Stirling bakery was ‘Bonding, Bridging, Linking’ and the event responded to the following vision:

'It is our vision that Stirling will be a place with opportunities for all, where there is trust and respect between all the communities that inhabit our city, where we can share spaces and opportunities, and take shared responsibilities for making this happen.

We want to start realising this vision in the centre of our city, a space that can be our shared place.

Our city centre has many challenges and barriers, and we hope to overcome these with solutions that deliver our vision. We hope that the Urban Ideas Bakery can be the starting point for further change'.



The Vision was based on the volumes of feedback that has been acquired in Stirling over the last few years.

A hectic, engaging, rewarding and emotional three days resulted in one short-term solution that has already been delivered, three medium-term and one long-term solution that informs and is informed by the others that are planned and on their way.

Short Term Solutions

Stirling Says
The bakers that worked on the short-term solutions delivered street blogs and a discussion site They have already started posting films, and the site will be used as an information and feedback space for people who want to be involved in the project. Visit the site and add your comments.

Medium Term Solutions

Stirling Stories
Stirling Stories is a trail through the city where you will be connected to the places and spaces through narratives written by the people of Stirling themselves. These are the hidden gems of the city, private, privileged and intimate. It gives locals the opportunity to take ownership of the streets and their personal stories related to them. ‘This is the place where my mother proposed to my father’, ‘This is the place where we used to slide down the steps on my mothers tray’.

The project will grow from a trail into a festival in which artists both local and international will be invited to render these stories into works of art. The narratives should grow along with the project.

Stirling Historical Trails
So many lost historical stories are not experienced by the average visitor to Stirling. The buses roll into the castle car park and roll out again. Several historical trails are proposed to bring visitors into the town to experience the rich and varied histories of the city.

Medieval and Victorian tours are just some of the proposals. Maps and information points will guide people around and through the city. The idea is that the trails will also be useful for local youth, who often do not fully appreciate the context and stories of the city.

Stirling Spaces
The empty shops on the main street of Stirling only reflect the disconnection between the old town and the modern shopping centre at the bottom of the hill. This space offers so much opportunity for activities that can reconnect communities to the centre of their city. The use of the empty shops linked also to the use of disused squares could contribute to an emotional rejuvenation of the area. Seasonal usage, usage connected to the other medium term solutions, democratic use of space, communities invited to ‘own’ the space for their own purposes for a short period are all proposals that are now being considered.

Long Term Solution

The Long Term Solution ties all the solutions together. It is informed by and informs the other solutions:

Stirling City Centre Prospectus – Re-connecting the city centre

A document to guide and inform future investment in the city centre of Stirling through connected thinking, the Prospectus will set out a vision for connected thinking about the future delivery of investment in the city centre, built on the following aims:

  • A connected process – continually building on the communities’ work done in the short and long term, ensuring and enabling the future of existing projects.
  • A socially connected city centre – a connected community through events, blog, increased involvement in city issues, etc.
  • Building individual aspirations – providing opportunities for individuals to learn and develop through broadening perspectives
  • A shared, informed vision for Stirling through dialogue and engagement with engaged and involved communities.
  • A physically connected city centre - connecting from Forthside to the Castle, overcoming missing links between the distinct areas, creating meaning in the undefined area between the main retail space (Thistles and) and the Top of the Town.

This will be achieved by a framework of enabling activities and connections:

  • Small scale physical interventions to create a physically and mentally connected, accessible city centre.
  • Events to support the development of a more widely involvement of the community in the civic life of Stirling.
  • Evidence building through community engagement through respectful, meaningful and constructive engagement to feed into informed decision-making.
  • A process of continued learning from the community, the short- and medium-term activities and events.


Would you like to know more about the bakery? Please contact Ted Matthews.