Results of Edinburgh World Heritage Site consultation

Almost 600 people have had their say on how the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site should be managed.

A consultation was held during the summer by the three organisations who manage the site; the City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh World Heritage and Historic Environment Scotland, and the results are now public. 

People were asked to consider 14 key themes, which have all been scored in terms of the feedback received. 

  • Natural space, identity and belonging, facilities and amenities, feeling safe and liveability scored the highest. 
  • Housing, moving around and city centre economy received an average score. 
  • Care and maintenance of buildings and streets, control and guidance, the contribution of new developments to the city centre, influence and sense of control, visitor management and awareness of the World Heritage Site scored the lowest.

World Heritage Sites must have robust management plans in place to ensure their Outstanding Universal Value (what makes them of worldwide importance) is preserved and enhanced. An oversight group made up of community council and business representatives, councillors, advisors from ICOMOS UK, and the management partners will now meet to discuss the outcomes of the consultation and agree the outline of the new Management Plan for the World Heritage Site, which is expected to launch next year. A draft will be published in March.

Cllr Ian Perry, Planning Convener, said: "Our World Heritage Site is of crucial importance to the future vision and development of the city. I would like to thank everyone who gave us their feedback during the consultation period as residents’ views will now help us to ensure that the site continues to be well managed and is of universal importance. 

“The survey showed that Edinburgh continues to be an attractive place for people to live and work in and that engenders a strong sense of identity and belonging, which is encouraging.”

Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage, said: “We have received some very clear feedback, confirming our observations, and now we, together with our partners, need to act on it. The more people who get involved with the new Management Plan, the better the protection for our incredible World Heritage Site. I’d encourage everyone to take a look at the new draft plan when it is published in March and let us know what you think. Edinburgh’s World Heritage site belongs to everyone.”

Barbara Cummins, Director of Heritage, Historic Environment Scotland, said: “I would like to repeat my thanks to all of the many people who took the time to engage with the consultation. Now begins the process of making sense of that feedback and how it should be incorporated into the new document. The end result will be that we have a management plan which reflects the needs of the built heritage, and the people who live, work, visit and look after it.” 


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