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Edinburgh moves forward on 20-minute neighbourhoods

Edinburgh’s 20-Minute Neighbourhoods strategy is progressing a programme of engagement across local town centres and high streets in the city, with a new focus on Gorgie Dalry.

In partnership with local communities and businesses across Edinburgh, the City of Edinburgh Council is working to develop a network of healthier, greener and thriving neighbourhoods where everyone can access key services and amenities by a short walk, wheel, cycle or trip on public transport.

A key part of delivering this 20-Minute Neighbourhoods strategy is improving local town centres and high streets which provide many of the essential facilities and services that people need easy access to.

The Council’s City Mobility Plan identifies a need for Edinburgh’s town centres to be more liveable places with reduced car dependency, improved active travel connections and quality public spaces for everyone.

The initial engagement to prepare a plan for Gorgie Dalry town centre has been designed to roll out alongside planned road renewal projects to minimise potential disruption. It will start by focussing on Dalry and local schools, before looking at Gorgie in more detail in the future.

Gorgie Dalry in 1950-1960 and present day.

Local residents in Gorgie Dalry are now being invited to share their thoughts on how the area around Dalry Road could be improved. Participants have the option of sharing their views either online or in person at a series of local events.

An online survey is available until 15 January 2023, where residents can feedback on specific parts of Dalry and the area around Tynecastle High School. They can also share their views on how they currently experience the area, what they think is good and what could be better.

The 20-Minute Neighbourhoods team will also be available to speak with local people at the corner of Dalry Road and Easter Dalry Road on the afternoons of Thursday, 1 and Saturday, 3 December. Further engagement with Dalry Primary School and Tynecastle High School students, businesses and community groups is planned over the coming weeks.

Work is well underway on progressing the town centre and high street strategy elsewhere across the city, including in Leith, Craigmillar, Muirhouse and Queensferry.

Plans for future improvements to Portobello, Corstorphine, Stockbridge and Bruntsfield and Morningside town centres, will be progressed to take account of the Our Future Streets framework and associated action plans once they have been agreed upon.

Councillor Scott Arthur, Transport and Environment Convener said:

“20-minute neighbourhoods are a new way of thinking for Edinburgh and our local town centres and high streets are at the very heart of many people’s local lives, so they are a natural starting point for this exciting strategy.

“It is clear that these spaces could be much better at serving the daily needs of residents, businesses and other organisations, particularly by being easier for everyone to move around. They should also have identity and purpose, supporting local employment opportunities and providing an inclusive economy.

“Each neighbourhood in the city is different, with its own unique set of requirements. That’s why it’s so important that local communities participate in this process to help us understand everyone’s needs and make sure their views shape the neighbourhood approach.

“I hope we hear from as many people as possible about how their town centre could be better for them. This is a fantastic opportunity for local people to help set a new direction for these areas so that they are more welcoming and benefit the health, well-being and pockets of people across the city. Ultimately, this strategy is aiming to deliver more sustainable, inclusive places, improve access to quality services and empower local communities across Edinburgh.”

The 20-Minute Neighbourhood strategy was launched in June 2021. Its vision is to enable a net zero Edinburgh where everyone can live well locally.

The city needs this level of ambition to achieve a significant shift away from long journeys to active travel and meet its net zero carbon target. It will help to create more social, inclusive and accessible places. This will also support physical and mental well-being and help end poverty in Edinburgh.

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