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Open Streets

Open Streets

 

Open Streets is about providing spaces for people to meet, walk, cycle and enjoy local attractions away from vehicular traffic. Open Streets can help citizens, businesses and other stakeholders to reimagine how a street could be used, shared and re-configured in the future.

Based upon consultation feedback, work is under way to introduce a programme of Open Streets, vehicle-free days on the first Sunday of every month (10am to 5pm) within a loop in the Old Town
Open Streets will start with the first event in May, on a short-section of the loop, gradually building the scale of the closures over time, to take into account access and operational needs. More details will be available shortly.

The introduction of Open Streets follows the successful trial during Edinburgh’s Summer Summit in June 2018.

Similar schemes from around the world

In building on this experience and introducing a series of car free days, Edinburgh is aiming to emulate the success of places like Paris and New York City. Their regular vehicle-free events have revolutionised how people use their cities. With spaces usually dominated by vehicles instead becoming the backdrop for people walking, scooting, cycling or simply spending time enjoying cleaner, quieter, calmer streets, each have been a major success in their own right:

What happens next?

  • Ensure suitable diversions are in place
  • Communicate early and clearly to ensure you understand why certain streets have been chosen
  • Engage with local communities and businesses to encourage events and interaction with the space
  • Give you ample time to adapt to the changes and adjust your travel accordingly
  • Continually monitor and evaluate against performance measures such as footfall, air quality and traffic displacement and report these on our website.

A staged approach to implementation has been proposed for an aspirational old town loop, with the first phase closing only sections of the loop for May, June and July Open Streets, pictured above. 

The Council is running a series of drop-in sessions for people who want to find out more about Open Streets and to talk to members of the team as we work through the process. These will be held on:

  • Tuesday 26 March, 12 - 1.30pm – Urban Room, Waverly Court 
  • Tuesday 26 March, 5 - 6.30pm – Venue TBC
  • Monday 15 April, 12 - 1.30pm – Urban Room, Waverly Court 
  • Monday 15 April, 5 - 6.30pm – Urban Room, Waverly Court

You can contact the Open Streets team on openstreets@edinburgh.gov.uk