On Thursday (4/8/16), Katie and I had the pleasure of co-ordinating and hosting a tour of Leith Waterfront at the request of a group of students from Rurh University in Bochum, Germany. They are going to be doing a project comparing significant, up-and-coming waterfront locations in the UK against European examples, studying the different approaches to waterfront development, as well as the challenges of the different locations and lessons to be learned from each city.
When they contacted us with the request, Katie and I agreed we would rise to the challenge and take on this great opportunity. We spent time doing our ‘homework’ on the area; we went on site, read development plans, articles, and conversed with folk to get a feel for the area from a local’s perspective. We learnt a lot, and it was interesting to review plans for the waterfront and the challenges it has faced over the past decade.
Nervous is an understatement as to how we were feeling as we walked to meet the students, however, they were great – so friendly and eager to learn. The tour went really well; we took them round Western Harbour, across to Ocean Terminal and finished on the top level of the car park, you could say we finished on a ‘high note’. The group spoke very positively about Edinburgh and presented Katie and I with little gifts all the way from Bochum. We wish them all the best for their project, future studies and who knows we may meet again in the future as the upcoming generation of planners in our countries.
Such a joy, thank-you to the group, it was our pleasure.
We are very excited about the Pop-up Cities Expo at The Mound, and we’ll be updating our blog over the course of the next three weeks. You can see the Edinburgh pavilion alongside those of Bergen, Vilnius, Rotterdam and Dundee.
A short story writing competition for Queensferry and Inverkeithing High Schools is one of the projects that stemmed from the Forth Bridge world heritage site bid. As part of getting people involved in the bid, schoolchildren were asked to write a short story featuring the bridge. A shortlist from both schools was judged by writers Ed Hollis and Keith Gray.
Last Monday the winners were announced during an event at the Edinburgh Book Festival where the children and their families listened to a discussion between the judges chaired by Sam Kelly from Napier University’s Creative Writing School. Among the prizes for the winners is a boat trip around the bridges, signed books from the judges and Network Rail, and participation in a two day creative writing workshop run by Napier University.
If you go down to the Planning service today, you might get a big surprise – Penrose the bear is coming to see the Head of Planning and the team! And who you may ask is Penrose Trelawney Rumble-Tum Me-Handsome Bear, or Penrose for short? Well, he is a bear living in a house on Honeycomb Lane in Bearside, Edinbearugh. He wants to make sure that his home, which is a listed building and has a hole in the roof, is mended and looked after.
Penrose, who is only 3 and half teddy bear high, goes with Sarah Jane (the head of this unusual family of animals) to visit the Planning service for advice on their plan to open a dancing school, using the house’s conservatory. But will Penrose get Planning permission? What will he say to the Development Management committee to make them say “yes” to a bearillant idea? To find out, simply head to the Black Diamond Radio website and listen to the full story.
Earlier this week Jenny Wood a MRes and PhD Urban Studies student from Heriot-Watt University gave us an excellent lunchtime talk on the benefits of increased engagement with children and whether the Scottish planning system is doing enough to create spaces for children. The talk was well attended by planners and included colleagues from other Council services. In Edinburgh we already work with schools and children to prepare plans and projects but it was good to get a better understanding from Jenny as to why this is not only the right thing to do but to understand what the benefits are. The talk has certainly got us thinking about how we can involve children more in developing plans, sharing good practice and ultimately improving the city for everyone.
We also discovered that Jenny has a hidden talent as a fine stand up comedienne. Her routine about Town Planning is certainly worth a watch!