City Centre Transformation Exhibition
City Center Transformation exhibition; City Art Center.
THIS IS THE PERSONAL OPINION OF 2 TXCC PEOPLE WHO ATTENDED.
The questionnaire accompanying the exhibition sets out the objectives, including;
enlarge and enhance pedestrian space and prioritise active travel and access for people with impairments.
There are boards all around the room (City Art Centre, 5th Floor) with extract plans, annotated with relevant objectives.
HOWEVER we felt that these had been prepared by design professionals with little or no consultation about practicalities.
For example; “dwell zones” to allow people to sit, rest, and relax. This may not take account of the prevailing breeze factor which makes Edinburgh habitable despite pollution. The seating may therefore not be much used for a good part of the year.
We would like to see public water fountains – even the old “bubbler” types from inter-war primary schools would do.
“World class” street setting; we applaud the removal of central parking, and partly the removal of street clutter.
Walking. We applaud the widening of unobstructed footways, and redesigning the junctions of George Street with the cross-streets.
Access/parking/servicing. We applaud these proposals.
re. “street setting” – there seems to be little provision for bins (which will be woefully needed to serve the dwell zones).
“small scale planting”; no mention of who will maintain the planters or indeed what they will contain which will be weather and pollution-proof.
Greening George Street; “propose the introduction of trees…”. Again, pollution-proof? Coniferous so to avoid wind-blown leaves (traffic hazard) or fallen leaves (pedestrian hazard). No consideration given to “vertical gardening” as used extensively in European mainland cities e.g. Copenhagen. (The Freemasons’ Lodge would be an ideal prototype).
“Plaza spaces” – open areas for better access/viewing of “appropriate entertainments”. No indication of how “appropriate entertainments” might be defined or approved.
NO INDICATION OF PUBLIC TOILETS ANYWHERE. These (if temporary) would need to be mandatory and supplied/maintained by the entertainment providers.
There is a passing mention of increased traffic load AND a narrowed carriageway to Charlotte Square; this has the potential to cause a pollution black spot and risk substantial damage to one of the very few unspoiled architectural gems still left. Charlotte Square has to be protected.