Gaia worked as part of a consortium for the regeneration of the former Hunter Crescent sink estate. Community consultation, capacity building and masterplanning were carried out between 1985 and 1988.
The origins of the project lie in the adjacent industrial estate where Drew Mackie Associates was working for the Scottish Development Agency. It became evident that the adjacent and notorious Hunter Crescent estate was seen as a major disincentive to future industrial and commercial development. The SDA sanctioned community consultation. The brief was to work with the resident community to produce a plan for economic and physical regeneration. Starting modestly from a few community workshops the momentum of the project built up over two years and partnerships were established to seek to regenerate the area. Eventually a Trust was formed and masterplanning and community development initiatives formed the basis of a phased development of mixed ownership and tenure and of a varied range of house types spanning refurbishment and newbuild.
The team worked closely with residents and delivery agencies to produce integrated development proposals. Gaia designed the development vehicle – a housing cooperative - to take the project forward and an Urban Design Masterplan to guide physical development incorporating crime prevention and community building.
Gaia has since undertaken refurbishment and new-build at Fairfield with health and energy efficiency as key components and have obtained a number of design and regeneration awards. With each phase the specification became more resource efficient and environmentally benign. The area has moved from being "hard to let" to one in very high demand.
The estate won a World Habitat Commendation in 2003.