A new campaign has been launched to engage Edinburgh locals and gauge their ideas on how Scotland’s capital city will look by 2050. This marks the latest stage of the City Vision project, which was launched in 2016.
Edinburgh residents will begin to notice advertising at key locations across the city centre; as well as a social media campaign urging people to go online and present their thoughts and ideas on how Edinburgh will develop over coming decades. Delivered by Marketing Edinburgh, the campaign is an opportunity for locals to positively influence everything from future business plans and public sector policies down to individual behaviours and habits.
Chief Executive John Donnelly, said: “This is an opportunity for the people of Edinburgh to voice their opinions, knowing they will be considered to collectively decide what happens next in their city. Our Capital is already an outstanding city to live in, but we don’t want to stand still. We have long been at the forefront of creativity and innovation, so it’s exciting to consider the possibilities the next 32 years hold, and think about where we can go next. The Edinburgh of the future will be even better than it is today.”
Initial research conducted by the project suggests that Edinburgh residents want the city to be greener and more inclusive in the future while highlighting the availability of affordable housing and jobs. A wider network of connections to the rest of the world is also an area of focus as Edinburgh adapts to an ever-changing global environment. Travel, exports and technology were high on the agenda for locals.
At the heart of the campaign lies a large-scale interactive word cloud, powered by the 2050 Edinburgh website. This will collect City Vision submissions from the public and showcase them in real-time on screens located around the city, including Waverley Train Station. The word cloud will go live on Monday 10th September and, it is hoped, will encourage more people to get involved and share their views.
In order to help visualise what the city could look like in 2050, a ‘taxi to the future’ will also travel the city’s streets. Provided by City Cabs, the taxi ride will take people with an EH postcode to their target destination via a bespoke GPS map route.
This will depict what specific locations could look like in thirty years time. Passengers could see 3D printed houses, urban farms and a myriad of futuristic templates of Edinburgh.
Calling All Futurists
In October, applications will open for the next phase of the campaign, including a job search for the next generation of futurists. Three of the successful applicants will be taken to other European cities to help establish what the capital can learn from its counterparts.
It is hoped that Edinburgh can take inspiration from other cities across Europe which will help to address future challenges regarding mobility and the environment. The futurists will collate their learning via essays and vlog series which will then be broadcast across the This Is Edinburgh social media channels.
Futurists will play a key role in developing a blueprint of the city’s future, however, Edinburgh Lord Provost Frank Ross said that the people of Edinburgh will take centre stage.
“First and foremost this campaign is for the people of Edinburgh, with their voices at the heart of it,” he said.
Ross added: “Communities across the city are invited to help anyone unable to access a computer independently take part. With permission from parents or guardians, school and nursery aged children can submit their views via supervised access to the 2050 Edinburgh City Vision website if they are old enough,”
Children will be able to submit their views through a number of creative ways, including paintings, drawings or voice and video recordings. Teachers can then send these to the campaign’s social media channels so that the city’s future leaders and innovators can have a say.