City Plan 2030 – Children and Young People Engagement

As we start to prepare City Plan 2030, we have been visiting secondary schools across Edinburgh, coinciding with the 2018 Year of Young People. We have been asking young people about what they think about their area, and what issues are facing the city.

To help us with this, we have been using the Place Standard Tool, which helps us to structure conversations about place – including the physical and social aspects, identifying the assets of a place, as well as areas where places could improve.

We have collected views from nine schools across the city including Queensferry High School, Craigmount High School, Wester Hailes Education Centre, Firhill High School, George Watson’s, James Gillespie’s High School, George Heriot’s, Liberton High School and Portobello High School.

We are now using the views collected to inform the preparation of City Plan 2030.

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What are the young people’s views telling us?

Although the issues raised and the results varied across the city depending on location and school, we can identify a number of key themes.

Parking and traffic was highlighted as an issue in relation to safety, space and sometimes making it difficult to walk and cycle safely.

Having a sense of control or influence was also brought up by a number of young people across the workshops. One attendee from the South East of the city said from “We rarely get chances like this to change our area”. And another said that they “feel like there should be more opportunities to get my voice heard in my local community.”

Edinburgh’s natural spaces were rated the best across the city. Many attendees mentioned their local favourites and appreciated that these spaces were open free and accessible.

Good quality public transport and a wide variety of bus routes were also mentioned as positives, as well as trams and trains which were highlighted as being of importance to young people.

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What next?

We are encouraging all young people in Edinburgh to keep up to date with the City Plan 2030 project by following this blog or following us on Twitter or using #cityplan2030.

For those that had views on transport and mobility in the city a major public consultation called ‘Connecting our City, Transforming our Places’ is also currently looking for the views of the public and we would encourage everybody to share their views by completing the online survey which is open until 12 November 2018.

There will be more opportunities to engage with the City Plan 2030 project moving forward – you can contact the City Plan team and/or subscribe to our newsletter by emailing Cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk or find more information on the City Plan 2030 website www.edinburgh.gov.uk/cityplan2030.

Public Life Street Assessments

A series of studies investigating the public life of Edinburgh’s town centres reveal how each currently functions in terms of pedestrian/cyclist movement and as a place.

Bruntsfield and Morningside
Corstorphine

 

 

Leith Walk
Gorgie and Dalry
Nicolson Street and Clerk Street
Portobello
Stockbridge
Tollcross

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Life Street Assessments, carried out by design consultants HERE+NOW for the Council, involve a mix of direct observation methodologies, user interviews and more focussed sub studies such as facade, land use and activity studies.  In-depth analysis of this data identifies trends in the way people currently use the street environment. This has informed suggested opportunities for improvement.

The assessments supplement the Council’s existing knowledge about how these town centres function and build on existing thinking and work to date, including the Local Development Plan, Town Centre Toolkit and Edinburgh Street Design Guidance.

The studies provide valuable information for all parties with an interest in maximising public life within Edinburgh’s town centres.  They have already informed the preparation of Supplementary Guidance for each of the town centres, draft Locality Improvement Plans and a design and an improved public space trial project within Stockbridge.

Update – using the studies

One of the studies has already informed input to a Locality Improvement Plan (LIP) – the South West LIP includes reference to the Gorgie/Dalry Town Centre which was informed by the relevant study. More detailed work will be under taken to develop to a delivery plan with associated timescales.

The Supplementary Guidance, which are about to be adopted, will be used to determine relevant planning applications.

The studies will also be used as an input to the LDP Action Programme, due to be updated early 2018.  We’ll share the Action Programme here on the blog and on Twitter when it’s out too.

Open Space 2021: Co-design of a new community park for Greendykes

Liz Thomas from Here + Now CIC gave the third presentation in a series of talks to raise awareness of Open Space 2021, Edinburgh’s new Open Space Strategy.

Liz’s talk focused on the process of co-design with the local community in Craigmillar which led to the final plans for a new park in Greendykes. This involved learning from local knowledge and organisations to give them a strong voice in the design process and shape a new park based on people’s needs.

The engagement process for the park started before any design was prepared. At the first community drop-in session held in Craigmillar Library, people choose images that spoke to them about what the future park could be.

People weren’t asked for a shopping list of items but how they would like to use the park, so that the designers could plan for these activities and functions according to the house builders’ budget.

Here+Now did a walkabout with P5 school children to discuss their hopes for the park and the children will continue to be involved as the park is built. This will include painting colourful ‘totem’ stakes for the park’s orchard trees.

Early designs for the park were presented at a sociable Christmas event in the library with festive wreath and decoration making. The park design will include feature trees to give it a sense of place, re-using some of the planting from the temporary greening at Edinburgh Quay.

Thank you to A+DS for use of their boardroom to hold the event.

You can watch a short video clip from the talk.

50 Years of Conservation Areas

Why do we designate conservation areas?

It is 50 years since the Civic Amenities Act 1967 introduced the concept of protecting the character of areas of historic and architectural interest by the designation of conservation areas

The Edinburgh Local Development Plan, adopted in 2016, states that an ongoing review of conservation areas will consider changes to boundaries, opportunities for enhancement, and the designation of new conservation areas. Conservation area status brings a number of special controls including:

  • The demolition of unlisted buildings requires Conservation Area Consent;
  • Some permitted development rights are removed;
  • Alterations to windows are also controlled in conservation areas in terms of the Council’s guidelines; and
  • Works to trees are controlled.

Where are Edinburgh’s conservation areas?

There are currently 49 conservation areas in Edinburgh, including city centre areas, Victorian suburbs and former villages. Each conservation area has its own unique character and appearance. Examples include the Colonies, Dean, Old Town, New Town and South Queensferry Conservation area. The map below shows all our conservation areas:

Conservation Area

Development in Conservation Areas

The designation of a conservation area is not a barrier to all development. Character appraisals are produced to help manage change.  These set out what makes an area special and informs decisions on proposals that may affect the character of an area.  This ensures that development sustains and respects the qualities and special characteristics of the area.  All new development should respect, enhance and provide a positive impact on the area and physical land use change should be based on an understanding of the historic and urban design context.

Future conservation areas

The planning service is considering the designation of Restalrig as a conservation area. The proposed conservation area would include St. Margaret’s Parish Church and surrounding streets. The area has a long and interesting history and the designation would be a way of acknowledging its architectural and historic importance.  As the 50th conservation area in Edinburgh, it would also be an appropriate way to mark the 50 years since the Civic Amenities Act.

You can give us your views about the proposed designation of Restalrig as a conservation area from 6 – 30 October 2017.

Strategy for Setted Streets

Stone setts add significant historic and cultural value to the streets of Edinburgh and are an important feature of our cityscape.

The City of Edinburgh Council has a duty to protect the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site, Conservation Areas and other historic parts of the city. This protection includes the setting of Edinburgh’s many listed buildings, where setted streets are an integral part of their identity and authenticity.

When they are not properly maintained, setted streets can have implications for walking, cycling and driving. Damaged setts are often replaced with alternative materials like tarmac as a temporary solution. This can result in an unsightly and uncared for appearance.

We are working in partnership with Edinburgh World Heritage and Historic Environment Scotland to develop a strategy for the protection and maintenance of setted streets.

Have your say

To help inform the strategy we’d like to know what you think about setted streets and their value to the city. We are also interested to know what issues you think setted streets can have on our movement.

You can give us your views until Wednesday 11 October 2017.