The Brief


Understanding Scottish Places was developed by a consortium of organisations commissioned by the Scottish Government and led by the Carnegie UK Trust. The first version of USP was launched online in April 2015, it is now in its third iteration.

The primary aims of the USP data platform is to enable people to:

  1. Understand their town within a Scottish typology
  2. Understand their town’s function, particularly in relation to the interrelationships and flows between towns.
  3. Be equipped to explore locally available data to complement the findings displayed on the data platform.

The online toolkit aims to provide accessible visual information which will help practitioners, decision makers and stakeholders work together to understand towns, and plan and evaluate strategies to deliver improvements in what are often challenging times for our towns.

The project is a joint venture between Carnegie UK Trust, CLESScotland’s Towns Partnership, and the University of Stirling.  The website can be found at



The Understanding Welsh Places project follows the success of Understanding Scottish Places. Beginning in 2018, the project, supported by the Welsh Government, and carried out by the Institute of Welsh Affairs, will create a simple and intuitive website to provide intelligence about individual towns to anyone interested in their future.

Understanding Welsh Places aims to create positive change, innovate and get policy decisions right for Wales, community groups, planners and policy makers need reliable information about Welsh towns

Users of the website won’t need a background in statistics or complicated IT knowledge. By presenting relevant data through a simple, adaptable user-interface, Understanding Welsh Places will give people the tools to foster more resilient communities and improve wellbeing in Welsh towns.

Speak To

Issy Petrie




Get Involved

For more information or to feedback and support future versions, please visit the site at

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