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Contributing Students: Richard Black Helen Flynn Mark Fullerton Joaquim Paz Alistair Watkiss
Geographical, social and historical context
Geography Located in the north-east coast of Great Britain, Edinburgh, is the capital of Scotland, since 1437,and its second largest city. The city council includes urban Edinburgh and a 30square-mile (78 km2) surrounding rural area. Climate Like much of the rest of Scotland, Edinburgh has a temperate maritime climate. Winters are specially mild and the proximity of the sea mitigates large variations of temperature. The prevailing wind direction is southwest, associated with warm, and it has a lower annual precipitation than most of UK cities along south-east coast. Demographics According to the General Register Office for Scotland, in 2006 the council area has a resident population of 463,510 people (220,094 male and 237,736 female).
Development of city
Year Popula tion
The historic centre of Edinburgh is divided in two by the broad green swath of Princess Street Gardens. On South the view is dominated by the Castle, perched atop the extinct volcanic crag, and to the north lies Princess Street and the New Town. Both districts were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The Old Town has preserved its medieval plan as many Reformationera buildings, and in 1766 a competition to design the New Town was won by James Craig, a 22-year-old architect. The plan that was built created a rigid, ordered grid, which fitted well with enlightenment ideas of rationality. Today the New Town is considered by many to be one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture and planning in the world.
With the strongest economy of any city in the UK outside London and been recently announced as one of the fastest growing city regions in Europe, the strength of Edinburgh's economy is reflected by its GDP per capita, which was measured at £27,600 in 2004. Largely based around the services sector: education and health, finance and business services, retailing and tourism are the main areas of activity. Unemployment in Edinburgh is low at 2.2%, which has been consistently below the Scottish average.
Edinburgh, declared the first UNESCO City of Literature, has a long literary tradition, going back to the Scottish Enlightenment, cultural movement which produced influential personalities as the philosopher David Hume and the pioneer of economics, Adam Smith. Home for many libraries, museums and art galleries and well-known for the Edinburgh Festival, a collection of official and independent festivals held annually over about four weeks from early August, helping to attract to the city around 13 million visitors a year.
What has previously been done in terms of sustainable urbanism?
The City of Edinburgh Council states that by the year 2015, the Scottish capital will be the most sustainable city in Northern Europe. The Council has a number of policies regarding topics such as water, transport and infrastructure design that are being implemented in order to ensure this goal is achieved. A Climate Change Declaration has been signed by the Council which commits the city to reducing it’s impact on the worlds climate by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and developing the ever changing city in a sustainable manor.
Edinburgh has developed a Local Transport Strategy (LTS) to reduce congestion within the region. Congestion is expected to double by the year 2016 if no action is taken. The number of cars used for recreational and commuter purposes reduced by 4.1% between 1999 and 2001 and is expected to fall by a further 7.8% due to the measures taken by the council. Edinburgh’s LTS encourages citizens to use sustainable forms of transport by: •improving and increasing the network of cycle and pedestrian routes. •Reducing traffic speeds to encourage pedestrian use •Appropriate lighting, signage and surveillance to ensure safe routes. •Introducing car clubs which reduce the number of cars on roads by using a pay as you drive scheme.
Edinburgh’s 2006 Fair trade Consumer Guide states that outlets in the city stock over 1000 Fair Trade Products, from coffee to footballs and from flowers to herbs. The range of Fair Trade products sold reflects the demand for the products and the responsible traders and consumers within the region. Large supermarkets such as Marks and Spencer, Scotmid ( Scotland largest co-operative supermarket founded in 1859), small independent cafes such as The Lot and churches have all joined the fair-trade movement. Many churches in Edinburgh hold Fair Trade events and has held exchanges with Fair Trade growers form around the globe in order to raise awareness about this important issue.
The City of Edinburgh Council was committed to reducing it’s greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2005 following the introduction of the Kyoto Protocol. This is higher than the national UK reduction. In order to achieve this the following points are carefully considered when designing new building or refurbishing. • Reduce the demand of energy to maintain the building • Use renewable energy resources • Eliminate air-con • Orientate building for maximum solar and wind gain • Maximum sustainable use of landscape PROBE Studies 100 are used in order to analyse a number of existing buildings to demonstrate how they could be more sustainable. This also demonstrates effective and non- effective building practices.
Urban areas draw heavily on water resources and this demand can be reduced by 50% in commercial and domestic buildings by use of efficient design strategies. Edinburgh’s council spends £3.5 million per annum on water and sewerage and has an efficient water management policy in place in order to reduce water use and waste.
Talla reservoir which supplies Edinburgh with water.
Investigation of one key element
Slateford Green Housing, Edinburgh Competition winning 120 house project Designed by: Hackland and Dore, Edinburgh Client: Canmore Housing Association, Funding: Scottish Homes/Communities, Scotland. The project demonstrates housing that is car-free and built using sustainable construction methods and materials, is financially viable as a housing solution. The design comes from the traditional Edinburgh tenement block, with a sheltered courtyard design adapted to the site. A community hall is included within the block to extend the buildings use to the wider community. The block is surrounded by terraced gardens and surrounded by natural landscape and allotments. Materials have been sourced ensuring minimal environmental impact, reduced maintenance costs and capacity for recycling.
Key Sustainability Features: ‘Car free’ housing concept with cycle facilities, city car club base and close public transport links. Space that would have been used for parking instead devoted to gardens, children’s play areas and allotments. Resident’s car ownership is less than 20%. Brownfield site – built on a former railway goods yard. As a result good access to many facilities and public transport. Social facilities include community lounge/club room. Sheltering courtyard design, responding to topography and maximizing solar gain Passive and stack ventilation The structure is clad with a breathing wall with 175mm of Warmcel with panel-vent sheathing. Warmcel is a highly effective insulation material that is recyclable and fully biodegradable. Artificial wetland, filters roof and road drainage run-off to SEPA guidelines. Native planting, low maintenance species chosen to encourage habitat for wildlife. Recyclable aluminium roof, breathing wall membrane/engineered timber structure. The construction is lightweight dry-fix with reduced costs through prefabrication and waste reduction. Provision for retrofitting of photovoltaic panels to power lighting if and when practical cost effective products become available.
The Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament Building located in Holyrood, in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Edinburgh was designed by Enric Miralles, who teamed up with the architectural practice RMJM Ltd. The choice of location, architect, design, and construction company was controversial and criticised by politicians, the media and the Scottish public. The building opened in 2004, over three years late with an estimated final cost of £414m, vastly greater than the initial estimates of between £10m and £40m. Despite widespread criticism, the building was applauded by those from the architectural profession. The aim of the building was to adopt a unity between the Scottish landscape, the public, the culture and the city of Edinburgh. The parliament building has won numerous awards including the 2005 RIBA Stirling Prize.
The Scottish Parliament
Sustainability was a key factor in the design of the building. Heating – a central system controls many windows which can open at night, cooling the building. Water is heated by solar panels. Electricity – all electricity is purchased from renewable sources. Some electricity is generated on site by a combined heat and power plant. Water – on-site boreholes provide water for toilets and help to cool the building. Showers controlled by infrared sensors and washbasins with flow regulators reduce water consumption. Materials – All timber is from well-managed, sustainable sources. Paper is made from recycled waste and many materials used within the building are recycled. Transport – The Parliament is 15 minutes walk from the train station, and buses are available. Over 50 bicycle racks are available for staff.
How did Edinburgh develop new measures and policies on sustainability?
The council of Edinburgh have many factors to take into consideration including recycling, land and building use and restoration, health and safety and road and pathway maintenance, all these must be run through the Strategic Environmental Assessment, as described below. SEA is a key component of sustainable development establishing important new methods for protecting the environment and extending opportunities for participation in public policy decision making. SEA is a process to ensure that significant environmental effects arising from strategies, policies, plans and programmes are identified, assessed, mitigated, communicated to decision makers, monitored and that opportunities for public involvement are provided.
The SEA is one of the main elements which allow Edinburgh to develop their measure and policies on sustainability. This assessment and development will allow Edinburgh to reach its goal, to become the most sustainable city in northern Europe, by 2015. Appeals (or questions, representations, objections etc.) can be made to the Scottish Ministers by affected parties who are not content with a decision made by an enforcing authority, such as the Scottish Environment Protection Agency or Scottish Water Most environmental legislation makes provision, in a range of different ways, for appeals to be made. This allows the local people to have a real input into the actions taken on environmental issues. Recently the council has signed Scotland's climate change declaration, this will enable the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, Edinburgh have also participated in a carbon management programme. Run by carbon trust this programme aims to provide guidance and technological support to help authorities gain carbon emissions savings.
Edinburgh's sustainable reputation has been built up by the formation of the Council’s Sustainable Development Unit (SDU). In order to cement the ideals and to communicate the importance of environmental design, the Sustainable Design Guide was created. This contains information, guidelines and case studies for each of the following topics: Social and Economic issues Landscape and biodiversity Materials Water Transport Waste Building design A detailed description of each of these topics including solutions and a checklist in order to ensure targets are met have been compiled and is aimed at professionals in the field and clients in order to encourage sustainable design.
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“With this Sustainable Design Guide, the City of Edinburgh Council adds to its reputation as a city that seeks excellence in its built environment; and sustainability as a positive and creative force in the quality of its places and spaces for people. Successful cities are those that rank excellence in place making alongside social and economic goals. This Guide should therefore inspire those that commission buildings, design them and build them to create the kind of city that they are proud to pass on to their grandchildren.”Raymond Young Chair-Architecture and Design Scotland
A number of policies have been introduced since the early 90’s including: Sustainable Travel Plan for the City of Edinburgh Council (February 2000) Water Management Policy for Council buildings (July 2000) City of Edinburgh Council Resource Use Policy (September 2000) City of Edinburgh Council Timber Policy (1997) Sustainable Development Strategy (December 2000) Edinburgh Biodiversity Action Plan (2004) City of Edinburgh Council’s Accessibility Strategy (2003) Air Quality Action Plan (October 2003) Key Figures involve in the implementation of the policies and the production of the Sustainable Design Guide are: The Council’s Building Design Services (BDS) Don Mackenzie - Senior Architect BDS, Maureen Child - Executive Member for Sustainability and Finance Chair, Edinburgh Sustainable Development Partnership
What lessons can be transferred to Manchester?
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The formulation of policies and small goals in order to break down the large targets set by National bodies of authority. Developing a local transport strategy to reduce congestion in the city and to encourage use of sustainable modes of transport by making them safer and easier to use. The creation of car free, pedestrian zones. Encourage the use of fair trade goods and create links with fair trade producers in order to raise awareness within the communities. Introduce water management policies to reduce water waste and contamination. Use of ‘green housing’ which encourage sustainable living by steering the user in the right direction and supplying the user with the correct tools for a sustainable lifestyle. The government to set an example by using a sustainable design for their own building.
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Use of sustainable materials in building design and refurbishment. The promotion of the reduce re-use and recycle principle in schools and communities. Promotion and advertisement of ‘green lifestyles’. Forming declarations and policies which set targets for the city and smaller communities within the city. The formation of committees and environmental boards which offer guidance and technological support to local authorities. Increased funding in sustainable initiatives. The use of Strategic Environmental Assessment to establish methods for protecting the environment which are relevant to the local area. Encourage local participation in the decision making and implementation process. Formation of bodies such as Edinburgh Council Sustainable Development Unit ( SDU) to cement and communicate policies and ideas to the general public.
As the capital of Scotland since 1437, Edinburgh has a duty to set an example on sustainable urbanism for which the rest of Scotland can follow. The City of Edinburgh Council states its desire to make Edinburgh the most sustainable city in North Europe by 2015. To ensure this happens a number of polices covering transport, building design, efficient water usage, fair trade products and environmental awareness have been introduced. Projects such as the Slateford Green Housing development and the Scottish Parliament Building act as flagships setting an example for future design projects in the city. By breaking the target up into smaller goals, Edinburgh is making huge steps in becoming a more sustainable city. We can only hope that the efforts are kept up to make Edinburgh even more sustainable, and that smaller Scottish cities, towns and villages follow their capital’s example and develop their own policies for the benefit of the local and wider community.
Scottish Architecture - Stuart Mac Donald Architecture of Scotland - George Hay Edinburgh-an illustrated architectural guide-Charles Mc Kean and David Walker Edinburgh-the story of a city - E.F.Catford
WEB SOURCES :www.wikipedia.orgwww.edinburgh.gov.uk www.treehugger.com/.../07/edinburgh_most.php http://www.infoscotland.com/ourfuture/CCC_FirstPage.jsp
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