Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Director's Notes - September 2014

Monthly update from EWH Director Adam Wilkinson.

Sep 30, 2014

Over the last few years at EWH, we have put a good deal of effort into changing the perception of what we do, by helping people think about the broader results of the many projects we engage with. At the most obvious level, our work results in conserved buildings, monuments and public spaces. However, we are very keen to demonstrate the social, environment and economic benefits that flow from our work. The reasoning behind this is twofold – firstly to move heritage from appearing to be an obstacle to change to being a means to enable us, as a city, to make the most of what we have, and secondly, to integrate heritage into the everyday thinking and management of the city.

In this enews we report on a number of projects that encapsulate this thinking. The World Heritage Site Business Opportunities Guide, launched today is designed to show business owners and their teams how they can make the most of World Heritage status for their business. It is about the most obvious embodiment of our work to use heritage to achieve other outcomes.

A more subtle example is our support of the Causey project, which in seeking to turn tarmac into public space will achieve a fundamental change in the perception of a small, but important space on a main route into the World Heritage site, through which thousands pass on a daily basis. Perhaps even more subtle is our support of conservation works at Panmure House, Adam Smith’s residence in Edinburgh. It is one of a number of projects that we are supporting in an effort to encourage exploration off the Royal Mile, with a view that the combined effect of the project will be to spread the benefits that visitors to the city bring, while improving the condition of the surrounding environment for those who live nearby.

We still have work to do in how we articulate these benefits and connect them – while the link between social benefit and heritage conservation is well evidenced, the causal link between social benefit and economic benefit needs more research.

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