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New game plan to safeguard Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site

Words: Laura Edgar
Edinburgh's Royal Mile forms part of the World Heritage Site / Shutterstock_204624400

The City of Edinburgh Council has launched a fresh strategy for Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns World Heritage Site.

It includes commitments to improve the quality of new development, manage tourism growth better, and raise residents’ awareness and understanding of the designated area.

The historic area, which was inscribed by UNESCO in 1995, covers most of the city centre from Quartermile to Dean Village, and from the West End to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

The latest plan, which runs for five years, is intended to protect and manage the “outstanding universal value” of the site.

The plan was written by the partners responsible for the management of the site: the city council, Edinburgh World Heritage and Historic Environment Scotland.  

Among the 39 actions are proposals for so-called “place briefs” for redevelopment sites to set out the city’s expectations in terms of quality and “fitting in” with the historical context, as well as improving local community engagement.

The plan also commits the city to manage tourism growth better and covers areas such as the profusion of short-term holiday lets, street cleanliness – especially during peak tourism periods – and the need for a broader tourism plan that builds on sustainable best practice from other historic cities.

City council leader Adam McVey said: “The new plan commits us to continue to improve our conservation and promotion of the city’s internationally renowned Old and New Towns World Heritage Site.

“I am fully supportive of the actions, which are wide ranging and tackle many of the key concerns expressed by residents of the city and others. These will also be integrated into the broader management of the city to ensure the actions are taken forward.”

Managing a World Heritage Site can be found here.

Image credit | Shutterstock