City centre transformation

How we will transform Edinburgh's city centre

The major projects and initiatives which help us deliver City Centre Transformation, City Mobility Plan and Our Future Streets: a circulation plan for Edinburgh are now at the detailed planning and design stages.

We will engage with local residents, businesses and other stakeholders on each individual project.  These currently include

All projects will

  • Create pedestrianised or pedestrian priority streets across the First New Town and Old Town
  • Offer a quieter environment with less air and noise pollution. 
  • Create safer conditions for walking, wheeling and cycling, with wider pavements and streets that are easier to cross
  • Enhance streetscape and public spaces within the UNESCO World Heritage Site  

We are currently working on a new strategy to improve Princes Street and Waverley Valley. This will include planning guidance and a public realm framework.

Collectively, these projects will change the general traffic network in the city centre, as set out in Our Future Streets: a circulation plan for Edinburgh and the City Mobility Plan. We are already looking at the potential displacement of traffic and traffic delays which may be related to these proposals.

We will also look at extending controlled parking operational hours in parking zones 1-8 to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This will help create better conditions for pedestrians and improve the performance of public transport, by reducing demand to the city centre by car.

Watch our film about three of these projects - City Centre West to East Link, George and First New Town and Meadows to George Street.

How we will make the city centre safer, more accessible and welcoming for everyone  

Our representative market research showed

  • 64% support for looking at more restrictions to traffic moving through the city centre
  • 60% support for targeted reduction in kerbside parking within the city centre.

Reducing through traffic and uncontrolled parking in the city centre will  

  • make it easier and safer for everyone walking, wheeling or cycling 
  • improve pedestrian safety during the city’s busiest periods 
  • give us a more connected, reliable and efficient public transport system across the city, including an expanded tram network 
  • make the city centre a more pleasant place to spend time in.

Keeping access for those who need it

We know that some people will still need access to the city centre by car, for example local residents, blue badge holders and those with mobility issues who may rely on taxis to help them get around if they are not blue badge holders.  

Businesses also need reliable deliveries, and services will still need access to properties. 

Wherever possible, the Our Future Streets approach will make better use of limited street space for people and travel networks. This will allow everyone, including drivers, to move around with less congestion and via clearer routes.  

Local access to the city centre by car will be maintained, but routes to destinations will need to change to unlock the benefits and the city centre's full potential.  

The operational considerations for any changes will be detailed in the future before any proposals are made. This helps us to co-ordinate decisions and puts accessibility at the heart all development work. 


Computer generated image of how a seating area would look after construction of the project, including planting.

George Street and First New Town project

George Street and First New Town is one of our flagship projects for transforming our city centre.

Find out more about what's planned.
Meadows to George Street project logo depicting an old town street scene with people walking, wheeling, cycling and travelling by bus.

Meadows to George Street

Find out more about Meadows to George Street, a key project in helping us deliver our City Centre Transformation plan.

Meadows to George Street project information