Reviewing the Management Plan for the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site

It’s time to review the Management Plan for the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site.

Front row: Jenny Bruce (World Heritage Site Co-ordinator), Will Garrett (City of Edinburgh Council), Lesley Macinnes (Historic Environment Scotland)  Back Row: Adam Wilkinson (Edinburgh World Heritage), Chloe Porter (City of Edinburgh Council)

Front row: Jenny Bruce (World Heritage Site Co-ordinator), Will Garrett (City of Edinburgh Council), Lesley Macinnes (Historic Environment Scotland)
Back Row: Adam Wilkinson (Edinburgh World Heritage), Chloe Porter (City of Edinburgh Council)

What is the Management Plan?

The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh achieved UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation) World Heritage status in 1995. This status was based on the juxtaposition of these two very distinct historic areas, each of exceptional historic and architectural interest. The contrast between the medieval Old Town and the planned Georgian New Town provides a clarity of urban structure beyond compare in Europe.

World Heritage Site Management Plan 2011 - 2016 cover

World Heritage Site Management Plan 2011 – 2016

The first Management Plan covered the period from 2005-2010 with the second Management Plan covering 2011–2016.

The third management plan for the period from 2017 to 2022 is now in the making. As with the previous plans, it will be prepared by a partnership of ourselves at the Council, Historic Environment Scotland and Edinburgh World Heritage with the plan informed by a number of interested groups and individuals.

Why is the plan important?

Having this special status comes with responsibility.  UNESCO requires those who manage World Heritage Sites to produce a management plan every five years. This plan summarises the significance of the site and the policies to protect, conserve, develop and enhance it.

In Edinburgh, the management and ownership responsibilities lie with thousands of individuals, groups and organisations, and so this Plan is a necessary and valuable tool for strategic coordination.

What does the plan do?

The plan has a number of roles, including:

  • Maintaining and enhancing the Outstanding Universal Value of the site. The Outstanding Universal Value defines the elements within a Site which make it important and which must be protected in order to maintain its significance. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee and the advisory bodies use this document to assess any potential threats to a World Heritage Site.
  • Identifying key features of the World Heritage Site – such as the unique landscape, the contrasting architectural characters of the medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town, and the heritage of Scotland’s ancient capital
  • Detailing challenges and opportunities – such as the risk of inappropriate development and promoting of the use of traditional materials
  • Facilitating change – the plan is not just about preservation. It is about helping to see change that ensures Edinburgh is a thriving, dynamic and economically successful city.

How can I get involved?

The review of the Management Plan is now under way (hence this blog!) and will continue until the launch of the document on World Heritage Day in April 2017.

We will keep you informed of progress and opportunities to get involved on the blog and on Twitter @planningedin. Our partner organisations will also be sharing information.

You can also email Jenny or Chloe at worldheritage@edinburgh.gov.uk

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One Response to Reviewing the Management Plan for the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site

  1. Pingback: A timely World Heritage UK technical meeting! | Planning Edinburgh

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