Visions for Edinburgh – 100 years of Planning in Edinburgh

100 Years of Planning Exhibition at the Usher Hall
100 Years of Planning Exhibition at the Usher Hall

A series of evening talks have been arranged to support the 100 years of Planning in Edinburgh exhibition.

The first talk, entitled Visions for Edinburgh is being given by Professor Cliff Hague of Heriot Watt University.

It will take place on Tuesday 21 October in the Urban Room in Waverley Court.

The talk will start at 6.30pm and be followed by an open discussion, finishing at 7.30pm. Tea and coffee will be available from 6.00pm.

100 Years of Planning in Edinburgh

To mark the centenary of the Royal Town Planning Institute, Councillor Ian Perry today launched the 100 Years of Planning in Edinburgh exhibition.  The exhibition has been prepared by the Council’s Planning and Building Standards Service and was launched in the Urban Room at Waverley Court.

The exhibition will be touring the city and you can view it at the following locations/dates:

100 Years of Planning in Edinburgh exhibition launch

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Town Planning

The term ‘Town Planning’ and its statutory practice go back as far as the Housing, Town Planning, etc Act 1909, which was the first Act of its kind that allowed councils to prepare plans for new development.

In July 1913, a provisional organising committee was established in London and an invitation was sent to potential members to join a ‘Town Planning Institute’.  A first meeting was held in November 1913 and was chaired by Thomas Adams who on the 13th March 1914 became the first elected president of the Institute.  Today, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has 22,000 members nationally.

Planning in Edinburgh

The exhibition traces the history of town planning in Edinburgh over the last 100 years and highlights the landmark issues that faced planning through the decades.  Edinburgh was of course, at the forefront of town planning many years before the establishment of the Royal Town Planning Institute.  The New Town of Edinburgh, built between 1765 and 1850, is considered to be a masterpiece of city planning and, along with the Old Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A personality who made a significant contribution in each decade is highlighted in the exhibition and includes:

• 1920s Sir Patrick Geddes – Edinburgh is fortunate to be so closely associated with Geddes, the father of modern town planning

• 1950s Cllr Pat Rogan – Chair of the city’s housing committee and a prominent campaigner for improving slum housing

The exhibition provides an insight into the changes in the city over the last hundred years and presents the opportunity to learn lessons from the past.  As Edinburgh adapts to the changing social and economic conditions of the future, Sir Patrick Geddes’ concept of ‘Conservative Surgery’, keeping the best from the past whilst improving the environment of the city for the future, will remain an important consideration for planning.

Forth Bridge short story competition

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.

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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.

Have a read of the winning stories.

Unstably Stable

The Two Groups Bridge Story

The Brigger

The Bridge

Story of a Survivor

She Kept Going

If Bridges Could Talk

Ghost Brother


The bridge

Planning Edinburgh – communications survey

Planning communications surveyAt the Planning service we are always looking at ways to improve our online information and how we communicate.  Earlier this year, Mary and Rebekah, our summer interns, undertook a short survey to get your views, to let us know what you think about the online information we provide.

Thanks to everyone who completed the survey.  We will be working on a number of the suggestions we received such as:

  • Improving how we use social media to engage and inform people about planning in the City i.e. through our Twitter account and planning blog
  • Promoting the forthcoming webcasting of the Development Management Sub Committee and Planning Committee which is due to commence in January 2015
  • Continuing to work with our Web Team to improve our web content and develop new ways of getting people involved in planning

Much of this will be undertaken by our Service Delivery team as part of the refreshed Planning and Building Standards service and we’ll provide updates on what’s happening on this blog.