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Tuesday, 07 January 2020 12:05

Growth and the commercialisation of public space in Edinburgh

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The London-based event organisers Underbelly have a contract with Edinburgh's city council who are paying them a reported £800,000 to stage a Christmas Market and a series of events around the celebration of New Year, "Edinburgh Hogmanay". Construction work began in mid-October, decking over the main public park in the centre of the city. The scale of the development should have required a 12 week public consultation followed by a formal planning application, but the consultation did not begin until AFTER the development went ahead, and only then because the Cockburn Association (of which I am the Chairperson) exposed the lack of planning permission.

Behind this scandal lie a wider set of questions about the costs and benefits of a mindset amongst local and national politiicans and council officials that has prioritised economic growth over urban conservation and an inclusive city. I have explored these issues in a series of articles in The Scotsman, the morning newspaper in this part of the world. The extent and drivers of the growth 2009-2019 are discussed if you click on this link. To see my speculations on what might happen 2020-2030 click here.  For my article on the unauthorised development that was ignored by the planners click here.

Read 2335 times Last modified on Tuesday, 07 January 2020 12:58
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