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

Maps (again)

Apologies for the erratic nature of my blogging, but as the student in the office, I’m working on a whole range of topics which gives me the chance to experience lots of planning issues. I’m not just here to make tea! HOWEVER, I have (fortunately for you, reader) found the time to write and henceforth publish yet another blog post.

Emma’s blog post #3: Maps (again)

The City of Edinburgh Council’s brand new all singing, all dancing interactive Local Development Plan (LDP) Proposals Map

ELDP map.png
Just look at that colour coding

I apologise for that subtitle. Wasn’t very snappy. ANYWAY the map is actually very good. The new LDP was adopted at the end of November, and the map is now live. It shows the land allocations from the LDP, and the associated policies, so you can easily check which policies apply to your area (or your house, if you’re just having a nosey). You can click on your area/site (house), and all the policies pop up with links to the LDP document. Let’s use Leith as an example, because I may or may not live there.

eclp-leith
(This isn’t actually where I live)

Click somewhere on the map, and up pops a dialogue box where you can flick through the different categories that apply to the area. And hyperlinks are in there that take you straight to the written policies. It’s a pretty useful bit of kit. AND: it can be used on your mobile device, so you can check your policies on the go. You can flick through the different layers, there, on the right. Turn some off, turn more on. Whatever tickles your fancy. You can even scribble on it, or leave text boxes, if you were so inclined.

BUT WAIT! There’s more. There’s a whole “other” section on the layers list. Here, you can see data sets like “Education” and “Derelict and Vacant Land” etc etc. AND THEN you can map these onto different basemaps, to see what has changed over time.

blog-before-after-map

^^ That ^^ is all the “other” data, mapped onto an aerial picture of Edinburgh from 1940, and I think it shows quite well how things have changed since then. So some structures are the same, but some have transformed drastically… Like Leith Academy on top of what looks to have been a train depot?

So that’s that covered: New map for the LDP. Check it outtttt.

Feel free to leave a comment with any planning-related topics you would like to see covered in the blog – I’m open to suggestions (FYI: I’m obviously eager for my posts not to be about maps every time). I’ll try my best to enliven anything you suggest. I know some people think planning can be a bit dull…  but I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s ALWAYS EXCITING.

Emma

Edinburgh Biodiversity

Emma’s Blog Post #2: Edinburgh Biodiversity

Now, I’m sure you’re all aware of the Edinburgh Biodiversity Action Plan 2016-18 produced by the Edinburgh Biodiversity Partnership… but just in case you aren’t, I’ll quickly fill you in; it was published in summer, and lists a number of actions that could and should be taken at specific sites to help support biodiversity. Go read it.

ebap-progress-report

Anyway, recently the progress report for the Action Plan was published, and it shows some pretty decent results; 89% of the actions are in progress or completed. Not only has work been done to create meadows and increase grassland, but also encourage wildlife to thrive in the built environment, too. Stuff like using Swift Bricks – fake bricks in the side of buildings that birds can nest in.

Go look at the things the Partnership is doing, or do indeed send the people involved a question, keep them on their toes: biodiversity@edinburgh.gov.uk

Emma

Maps

Maybe a little dull to some, but do not be fooled. Maps can be very interesting. Particularly colourful, interactive and FREE maps.

This week, Ritchie Somerville swung by the Urban Room to teach Council planners about maps and freely accessible information – things that could help us to better understand places in Edinburgh. Ritchie is the Council’s Innovation and Futures Manager, and during his demonstration, we were introduced to several different maps. So here are some potentially interesting interactive maps for your perusal and enjoyment.

Google Maps

So I know we’ve all used Google Maps before, but there are some features that you might not know about. Like live traffic information to see which routes are busiest.

live-traffic
This is what the traffic looks like in Edinburgh right now, in case you wanted to see how busy the streets are at 15.53 on a Wednesday afternoon

Click on the three lines (the burger!) in the top left of Google Maps, then select “traffic”. If you click the key at the bottom, you can see what the traffic is usually like at different times and on different days, too.

There are also loads of other useful things Google Maps can do, like give satellite images, and 3D images of major cities. Also street view.

You probably already knew all these, but worth a mention anyway.

Bing Maps

Maybe not as commonly used as Google, but Bing does have an Ordnance Survey map linked up. So if you’re interested in that, Bing’s the interactive map for you!

bing maps.jpg
Hover over “Road” in the top right corner (shown as “ordnance survey” on this screenshot). A drop down list will appear. Click on Ordnance Survey for all your OS needs

Consumer Data Research Centre Maps

This one is more interesting. More complicated, but more interesting. CDRC maps show census data in a more visual way than just numbers on a spreadsheet. The maps colour code all sorts of information, from population density to top method of travel to work. Even central heating type, if that sort of info floats your boat.

cdrc maps.png
A drop down list on the left lets you choose your data set, and hovering over the map gives you specific data for wherever your curser is

DataShine Scotland Commute

This one shows the method of travel people take to and from work. The heavier the line, the higher the number of people who travel that way. You can switch from travelling to the selected location for work, or from the selected location to work. Useful to see how far people commute, and by what means. There’s also a ‘Region Commute’ version, showing travel from longer distances.

datashine
You can select which form of travel is shown from the drop down list in the top left

The One Million Tweet Map

A bit different, but still interesting. This map shows the most recent million tweets worldwide. And it’s live. The tweets are happening right now.

I know people tweet about all sorts, so you do get some random stuff. But if you did want to see where someone complained about their disappointing ham sandwich (or, you know, where they bought a good lunch from), it’s worth having a gander at this map.

onemilliontweets.png
It gives non biased representations of what people do and think, and where

Edinburgh Council Atlas Map

And the Council has its own interactive map! The map has loads of different layers that you can put on one map at the same time. Useful for making connections between different data sets.  It’s kind of information heavy, but can give you a LOT of useful info all at once… Or you could just select every layer and see what Edinburgh looks like with all the data available mapped onto it.

atlas map.png
There are a whole host of layers to choose from. Shown is listed buildings and conservation areas

As Ritchie explained to us this week, maps can be used to help us see a place in a different way. Making your own maps can also be handy to see a place differently – you don’t need to be a cartographer or a tech wizard to make a map that works.

abstract-map
This map in the National Library of Scotland is almost completely obscured by visitors’ memories of their favourite places
ratho-primary
And this hand made map submitted to us on twitter (@planningedin) from Ratho Primary shows maps don’t have to be just 2 dimensional

So try a few links and see if any of them make you think about Edinburgh any differently… It’s a way to kill a few minutes when you’re bored, if nothing else.

I hope you’ve found at least some of these maps at least vaguely interesting. And if not, I hope you find something you are interested in elsewhere on the blog.

Emma

Southside Place Standard Online Survey

Hello All,

Last week (22nd and 26th November) we ran a couple of Place Standard events at Southside Community Centre. The events were generally well attended, with some really good feedback from both sessions.

Following on from these events, we are now running a short online survey using the questions from the Place Standard tool, which, if you live, work or spend time in the Southside, we would love it if you could spare 5 -10 minutes to complete it.

Just a reminder of what the Place Standard is, it is a tool to evaluate the quality of a place. There are 14 questions which cover the social and physical elements of a place. Each question is given a score out of 7 based on what people think and feel, 7 being excellent and 1 being poor.

The results of the events and the online survey will help to inform future policies and change in the area, so it is vitally important that you have your say on what needs to be improved.

The Southside
The Southside

Thank you in advance for taking time out to complete the survey.

George.