Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Director's Notes - July 2010

Monthly update from EWH Director Adam Wilkinson.

Jul 19, 2010

We receive a steady and welcome flow of correspondence at the EWH office from residents and others in and around the World Heritage Site as well as internationally. The local correspondence adds up to give us a picture of the issues on the ground. Of late, the most pressing issues are streets and bins. Both these are important and worth addressing – “but why” I hear you ask “when there are grand things to be done with buildings, education and interpretation”. Rest assured that our work in these areas continues apace, but streets and bins deserve attention.

The issue at the heart of these questions is how we service a living World Heritage Site – were the World Heritage Site a single monument or a natural landscape, this would be a much simpler question.

With the introduction of wheelie bins across the rest of the city, the seagull population focuses its efforts on the city centre’s gourmet dustbin delights. However, we’re in favour of a more measured approach to the problem, which would involve thinking around it with the assistance of the community, street associations and officers from the City of Edinburgh Council, and forming a strategy that would spread out any capital cost over a ten year (or longer) period. This would allow a series of carefully considered solutions to be carried out, from underground bins (as at the Grassmarket) to railed enclosures around the gardens to… well, whatever other ideas everyone comes up with.

For example, here’s what they’ve been up to in Florence, also a World Heritage Site.

This sort of challenge reflects the complexity of our World Heritage Site, which we are attempting to capture in the review of the World Heritage Site Management Plan. Following on from the stakeholder workshop, we’ve been busy writing, editing, redrafting, rethinking, rewriting the Second Management Plan to the point where it is nearly ready for everyone else to have a look at it and offer their thoughts, before we enter another period of writing, editing, redrafting and so on. The plan attempts to outline the what, why and how of the management of the World Heritage Site, pulling together all the diverse elements of the WHS into a broad framework, with the Outstanding Universal Value at its heart. This will then steer the direction of our actions and those of our partners in managing the World Heritage Site, for the next five years

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