On 13 and 14 September we held workshops at the Junior Road Safety Event at The City Chambers to show school kids how everyday activities contribute to air pollution. The event is organised by colleagues in Road Safety and Active Travel who work with Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs) to help promote road safety and active travel amongst their peers. They do this through competitions, assemblies and events in school, and help them put together their travel plans to reduce cars on the school run, reduce congestion and promote walking, scooting and cycling.
This annual event brings together Edinburgh primary school children who are JRSOs and provides them with ideas to promote road safety issues in their school and local community.
Air pollution has been recently described by the World Health Organisation’s Director General as ’the major public health issue of our generation’. Because we can’t always see it, it is easy not to think about it.
But transport is a major source of local air pollution here in Edinburgh, and reducing vehicle emissions or using our cars less for example by walking or cycling instead, is one way we can help improve air quality.
Emma explained how each of us can contribute to generating air pollution.
Children choose the colours to add to their glasses depending on what pollutants are produced by their activities
The individual glasses of coloured water were poured into one jug
This jugful shows the combined effect of our activities on the air we breathe
The workshop activity used food colourings to represent pollutants in air. Adding drops of these to glasses of water (representing clean air) allowed the children to see how their individual activities including travel to school can pollute the air we breathe. The children compared their glasses and discussed ways they could reduce their own contributions.
The feedback we got from the children who attended the event was really positive and we hope it helps to give them a better understanding of some of the air quality issues in the city.
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.
Setted surface looking West along Dean Park Crescent
Setted Comely Bank Avenue looking South
Setted surface looking East along St. Bernard’s Crescent
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.
Tarmacked corner of Learmonth Place and Comely Bank Grove
Setted surface looking West up Dean Park Crescent
Tarmacked surface looking West towards Edinburgh Castle on Market Street
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.
The Council along with other key partners is working on delivering a Wayfinding system for Edinburgh, similar to other towns and cities in the UK. The aim of the project is to encourage walking and the exploration of the City for residents and visitors.
What is a wayfinding system?
A Wayfinding system is a number of mapping products such as digital, printed and on-street maps which help people to orient themselves and navigate from place to place. The idea is to make getting around the city as simple as possible.
Clear and consistent mapping forms the basis of any Wayfinding product and the Council has been working to create a bespoke digital map that reflects Edinburgh’s unique identity and highlights walking times, footpaths, accessible routes, travel information and key areas and places throughout the City.
The wayfinding project
The project is at the design stage and the map of Edinburgh will be completed by the end of September 2017.
We hope that the project will provide the city with a mapping resource to create a range of Wayfinding products: printed maps, on-street information (including bus shelters and tram stops) as well as on-line to make getting around the city even easier, to encourage walking and to help people to explore the city. The mapping resource is royalty-free so can be used and adapted by others to help improve the information we have and for communities to map and promote their own area.
What happens next?
The next phase of the work is to identify funding and partner projects. We’ll be working on this in the coming months and will keep you up to date here on the blog.