Community Mapping Project
An EWH initiative is mapping residents perpectives of their journeys in the World Heritage Site.
Mar 22, 2013
The initiative is part of the EWH Green Heritage project, funded by the Climate Challenge Fund. It aims to create a comprehensive community map of Edinburgh as perceived by its local community, and to encourage people to walk and to rediscover the World Heritage Site.
Instead of signs, streets and directions, a community map describes the genius loci of a place, describing memories, noises, smells, and people. The main references for the project are the work of the American planner Kevin Lynch The Image of the City, and community mapping models such as Parish Maps by the UK charity Common Ground.
In order to analyse the relationship between the World Heritage Site and its inhabitants, Edinburgh World Heritage is delivering a series of mapping workshops with different target groups within the city of Edinburgh.
At the workshops, different views are emerging on how people experience the World Heritage Site: some people love the light at sunset on the Old Town; some others do not like crowded shopping routes. Odd habits and stories are coming out: some people love admiring wedding shops’ windows; someone loves the music from the Mosque because it reminds him of Middle Eastern countries.
Some patterns are also emerging, depending on the target group involved: cyclists draw their map as a net of cycle paths; University students interpret the city as George Square-centred; workers in the Site have put in their map every single clock they see along their paths – clocks tell them whether or not they are on time. This shows that there is not only one map of Edinburgh, but there can be infinite maps.
The exercise is showing that the city is not just a physical infrastructure. In line with the UNESCO definition of Historic Urban Landscapes, the city is a lively environment of social and cultural practices and values, economic processes, diversity and identity elements.
Results from the workshops will be presented in an exhibition in the summer, that will display a comprehensive map of the city, as perceived by the different target groups involved.
The next available date is Tuesday 9th April at 4pm, at the EWH offices in Bakehouse Close.
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