Saturday, 25 October 2008

Disney Status For Capital?

Even with Disney Status, the ubiquitous Edinburgh Scaffolding
Danger of Capital being made into a Disney production

ON THURSDAY Professor Herb Stovel gave the Cockburn Association's annual lecture, this year entitled Keeping the Faith in World Heritage, in which he made many salient points with regard to recent planning decisions made within Edinburgh and how he perceives their impact upon the Outstanding Universal Values that Edinburgh embodies.

Intriguingly, he made the statement that Edinburgh was of a sufficient size to cope with the increased number of visitors associated with WHS, yet failed to make the connection with the three controversial developments – Caltongate, Haymarket and St James Centre – being proposed to house these visitors.

The pursuit of increased tourist numbers is what threatens the OUV. While UNESCO's prime concern may be keeping the city looking pretty, this resident's concern is for their life in the city.

All new large developments are primarily hotel accommodation – aside from the big three already mentioned two hotels are proposed for Princes Street with talk of a third one in the West End; the Cowgate fire site is proposed to become a hotel and both sides of Waterloo Place are either hotel or serviced apartments. So what future for the real people? Bussed and trammed in from outlying districts to serve the tourist core?

The Old Town once boasted a fantastically egalitarian mix and we need provision to be made for young and growing families on modest salaries within the city centre unless we are to become a Disney version of a living city.

Letter to Evening News 20 October 2008