National Clean Air Day

National Clean Air Day

The UK’s first ever National Clean Air Day is being held on 15 June 2017.  The aim of the day is to encourage everyone to take simple actions to improve our health and reduce air pollution.  To celebrate we have written a blog about the work we do as a Council to monitor and improve air quality in Edinburgh. Did you know?

  1. Air pollution increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and asthma attacks, as well as being associated with dimentia
  2. Drivers can be exposed to nine times more air pollution than cyclists because cars gather pollution from the vehicle in front
  3. Most of the pollutants that damage our health are too small to see, and they get through the gaps in simple fabric face masks

Thankfully, there are lots of things you can do to help reduce air pollution including:

  • Use your feet and take to the street by walking, cycling, bus or tram
  • Switching your engine off when stationary
  • If you are thinking about replacing your car, consider buying a less polluting vehicle such as an petrol-hybrid or an electric car

A joined-up multidisciplinary approach is being taken to address concerns about air quality in hot-spot areas across the City by the Council. The new Spatial Policy team which came into operation in June 2016 includes officers from the Planning, Transport and Environmental Health disciplines.

The role of the team is to develop and coordinate policy and projects in relation to planning, transport and air quality with a view to securing outcomes that deliver better placemaking and linkages between spatial and community planning.  Some of the actions the team are working towards delivering through the Air Quality Action Plan include:

  • Promoting cleaner transport, in particular buses via voluntary means
  • Adoption of fleet recognition efficiency scheme for reducing emissions from heavy goods vehicles
  • Improving traffic flow and easing congestion by use of intelligent traffic signalling
  • Promoting modal shift away from car use by means of an active travel action plan

The Council has also recently proposed to take a lead and work with the Scottish Government towards progressing Scotland’s first Low Emission Zone in Edinburgh.

Get in touch and let us know the small steps you are taking to improve your health and reduce air pollution in the City on twitter or instagram.

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Open Space 2021: Greenspace and Health talk

To raise awareness of some of the key themes of Open Space 2021, Edinburgh’s new Open Space Strategy, we are holding a series of lunchtime training sessions for staff.

Professor Catharine Ward Thompson from the University of Edinburgh gave us a great overview of her research into why greenspace is good for us.

Catharine is Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University and directs OPENspace – the research centre for inclusive access to outdoor environments.  The University is also one of the Council’s key partners for Edinburgh Living Landscape.

Catharine’s research has featured in the Green Health project for the Scottish Government, which looked at links between green space and stress in deprived urban populations. More recently Mobility, Mood and Place, focused on outdoor access and older people’s quality of life.

Catharine plans to deliver her talk to The Friends of Edinburgh Parks at their annual event later in the year.

The video below is a short clip from the talk.

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World Heritage and Conservation Areas at the Meadows Festival – 3 and 4 June 2017

World Heritage at the Meadows Festival

This weekend is the Meadows Festival!  The World Heritage Team will have a stall to promote the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site.  There will be information about the Site with cool maps, information leaflets on conservation of historic properties and activities for our younger visitors.  We’ll be at the festival on both days and are keen to get your views on the draft management plan for the World Heritage Site.

Fingers crossed for some sunshine and we hope to see you there!

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Help out with a Swift survey

In Edinburgh we’ve been working since 2000 to help our declining population of swifts.  This summer, in partnership with the RSPB, we are carrying out the first full survey in 10 years to identify where these amazing birds are nesting in the city.  We need as many volunteers as possible to help and the good news is, this is a survey which works best in good weather!

A training event is being held on Wednesday 24th May 6.30pm, hosted by Historic Environment Scotland at the Holyrood Park Education Centre.  So if you fancy a summer’s evening stroll to look for these avian acrobats, please email Amber.Jenkins@rspb.org.uk to book your training place.

For more information on swift conservation work across Edinburgh email us at biodiversity@edinburgh.gov.uk

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Guidance for Householders Review

Our Guidance for Householders is being reviewed and we’d like your comments on the proposed changes.

Guidance for Householders draft for consultation front cover April 2017

What the Guidance is for

The Guidance is for people considering altering or extending their house.  This includes dormers, conservatories, extensions, decking, garages and outbuildings.  It aims to assist in creating high quality and well designed alterations and extensions that:

  • complement the existing house, leaving it as the dominant element
  • maintain the quality and character of the surrounding area and
  • respect the amenity of the adjacent neighbours

Dormer ExtensionsSide Extensions

Street Alterations

What are the changes?

The main changes include:

  • reordering the document
  • clarification of some text
  • text on self-contained extensions
  • bungalow extensions and
  • roof terraces.

Changes have been made as a result of internal consultation with planning teams and reviewing the use of the Guidance in decision making.

Have your say

You can give us comments using the consultation hub, which also contains a link to the draft revised Guidance.  After the consultation we will consider if any further amendments to the document are required before reporting the changes to Planning Committee for approval.

Consultation on the Guidance will close on 2 June 2017.

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World Heritage Day 2017

Promoting diversity of cultural heritage of humanity, their vulnerability and the efforts required for their protection and conservation… or something like that idk.

Emma’s blog post #5: World Heritage Day 2017

World Heritage Day 2017 is on Tuesday 18th April, and there’s an event you should go to at the National Museum of Scotland. It starts at 10, and runs through til 4 with workshops on the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh (which make the Edinburgh World Heritage site). There’ll be loaaaaaaads of stuff to do; Victorian materials, a brass rubbing map of the New Town, some World Heritage-related music… I’m also told there’ll be colouring involved. Get HYPED.

The event will also give you an opportunity to talk about the consultation for the Old and New Towns Management Plan, so you can help us manage the World Heritage Site.

You can learn about the statue of David Hume, on the High Street. It’s become a superstition that rubbing Hume’s right foot will bring good luck. Which is ironic, given that Hume believed logical thought is an answer to superstitious beliefs.

Or about the Sir Walter Scott Monument, the biggest monument to any writer in the world.

ORRRR you could find out about the ears of the Alexander and Bucephalus statue in the City Chambers courtyard. You wouldn’t think ears would be interesting. But you’d be wrong.

 

So do go to the event on Tuesday, it sounds like it’ll be good.

As such, I’ll be getting involved in the World Heritage Hour twitter event later on Tuesday, between 18:04 and 19:04. The theme: ‘tell us 5 extra-special things about your WHS’. Get involved even from the comfort of your own home, people, and use the hashtag #WHSHour so we can all appreciate Edinburgh World Heritage ~*together*~.

Also, follow @planningedin on Twitter or Instagram ok thanks.

Emma

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Reviewing the Edinburgh Design Guidance – your views

The Edinburgh Design Guidance is being reviewed and we’d like your comments on the proposed changes.

South Queensferry housing

The revised draft guidance has a number of key changes including the Parking Standards (for new developments), advice on Build to Rent Housing and protected views to the Forth Bridge.

Have your say.

You can give us comments using the online survey, which also contains a link to the draft revised Guidance.

We are also holding two consultation workshops on the Design Guidance on Monday 15 May, in the City Chambers.  If you would like to attend, please email us the following details to spatial.policy@edinburgh.gov.uk

  • name
  • contact details
  • organisation (where relevant), and
  • workshop preference – 15:30-17:00 or 18:00-17:30

Consultation on the guidance will close on 2 June 2017.

Princes Street / South St David Street

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