Proposals

View along George Street with new design

We’re planning for the future of George Street and the First New Town, revitalising the street while embracing its much-loved heritage.

The proposed design will create a greener, safer, accessible place for everyone to enjoy.

It follows several years of development and engagement to refine design objectives with Edinburgh residents and stakeholders, including community councils and heritage, business, walking, cycling and accessibility groups. Read more about how we've engaged on the George Street design.

It will be one of the first projects to be delivered as part of our City Centre Transformation - an ambitious 10-year strategy and delivery plan that seeks to provide a people-focused city centre, which is a desirable place to live, work and visit. 

Edinburgh’s City Mobility Plan is central to creating this cleaner, better connected and net zero carbon future. Key to this is a review of the current bus network by 2025 and a largely car-free city centre by 2030. In line with this, the George Street design proposal prioritises walking and wheeling, then cycling, then public transport and shared transport including taxis. Vehicle access will be significantly reduced.

Diagram: overview of street design showing key features

Key design features

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Pavements replaced, widened and de-cluttered.

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A place for everyone to pause and enjoy.

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A cycle street with a safe, wide and clearly marked route.

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Outdoor cafe culture in clearly delineated seating areas.

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Blue badge parking throughout the street.

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Street greening providing shade and shelter, and sustainable drainage.

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Loading on both sides of the street at set times.

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Central spaces providing opportunity for appropriately scaled events.

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Statues and heritage will be protected and celebrated.

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Landscaped seating areas for play, culture, leisure, local business and community use.

 

Diagram: Birds eye view of one block, also showing junctions with adjoining streets.

People first

Friendly, safe and accessible - the design balances the needs of everyone with plenty of places to rest, play, meet, eat out and enjoy the heritage and culture on George Street.

People first

Heritage

As part of Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, the proposal protects James Craig’s simple, geometric and spacious design for the New Town. It enhances the setting of heritage assets, such as the statues, and improves current views and vistas along George Street.

Heritage

Environment

The proposals support our ambition to be net-zero carbon by 2030 by prioritising active travel and significantly reducing vehicle access, as well as increasing biodiversity with varied shrub planting and green spaces.

Environment

Transport and travel

To help deliver a largely car-free city centre by 2030, vehicle access will be significantly restricted to essential access only, including blue badge parking. Walking, wheeling and cycling will be prioritised with access from public transport in the surrounding area and links to other planned active travel routes.

Transport and travel