Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article

 

Director's Notes - October 2011

Monthly update from EWH Director Adam Wilkinson.


Oct 18, 2011

It is with great pleasure that we’re able to report the scaffolding going up for the final phase of works to Poundsavers on Nicholson Street, next to the Festival theatre. All the phases of work for the restoration of this handsome building, which forms the terminus of views down the South Bridge, have been supported by EWH’s Conservation Funding Programme, with these final works focusing on the restoration of the historic shopfront. Shopfronts are vital to our perception of the quality of a street through their immediacy, and when properly reunited with the architecture of the building they belong to, give a sense of cohesion to a place. Just imagine the difference this would make on Princes Street.

This weekend saw the first of our workshops on the practical measures that you can take to ensure your home is warmer and more energy efficient in preparation for winter. We were delighted with the turnout, demonstrating a very real hunger for knowledge on how to ensure our historic homes in the World Heritage Site and wider are warm and comfortable, while retaining their character and detail.

After two years in the works, the new Management Plan for the World Heritage Site covering the period 2011-2016 is now published. The aim of the plan is to help us understand what the World Heritage Site consists of, and then how we can sustain, protect and enhance its outstanding universal value, co-ordinating the various initiatives in and around the city to ensure they benefit the Outstanding Universal Value. In doing so, the plan seeks to balance the demands of tourism, residents, the economy and heritage: the lessons of cities such as Venice are that if one comes to dominate, the others suffer.

Navigating around the World Heritage Site is something that most tourists don’t try their hand at, beyond wandering up and down the Royal Mile. EWH is involved in a number of initiatives to encourage exploration. Firstly, there is our iphone app, which acts as a virtual treasure hunt for tourists, giving access to information on buildings and their stories. Secondly, we have been working with a range of other groups on the question of pedestrian signage. A brave group of volunteers from the University of Edinburgh, all new to the city, set off in four groups to hunt for a series of cultural sites. Armed with their lists, maps with no street names and coloured markers, their job was to note how they got to where they were going, where they got lost and where signs would have been helpful. In discussion afterwards they came up with some very helpful suggestions – for example, signposts with imperial distances on them mean nothing to the metric world, whereas time might be a better measure, given the city’s steep geography. We’re incredibly grateful to them for doing this work which would have otherwise taken us weeks.

Finally, for those of you interested in exploring beyond Edinburgh, The Polish Cultural Festival Association, Edinburgh World Heritage, the Kraków City Council and the City of Edinburgh Council in partnership with the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland and the University of Edinburgh Department of Architecture, have the pleasure of hosting the Head Architect of the City of Krakow and the Director of the Department of Culture and National Heritage of Poland for a lecture on the evening of the 25th October, with an accompanying exhibition from the 25th to the 29th at Matthew Architecture Gallery, University of Edinburgh, Chambers Street.



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