A ground-breaking initiative aiming to make Edinburgh the best city in Europe to live in by 2050 is welcoming the University of Edinburgh as its newest partner.
Edinburgh Living Landscape hopes to create a city fit for the future with healthy and beautiful areas that are resilient to climate change as well as being highly valued and accessible to Edinburgh’s citizens.
The University of Edinburgh has already been closely involved in one of Edinburgh Living Landscape’s most exciting projects, the Urban Pollinators Project – a collaboration between Edinburgh Council and the University of Edinburgh. By converting patches of grassland to wildflower meadows, the project aims to boost numbers of bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects within the city. This will benefit local beekeepers, food growers and gardeners while increasing the beauty of Edinburgh’s many parks.
The Edinburgh Living Landscape Programme Leader, Dr Maggie Keegan, said: “We are delighted that the University of Edinburgh has formally joined the Edinburgh Living Landscape partnership. We have already been working together to research the impact of the Edinburgh Living Landscape programme on local people and wildlife. It is hoped that the University, as a major landowner and manager, will also be able to demonstrate the principles of the Edinburgh Living Landscape – in terms of creating high-quality green infrastructure – on their own land holdings in the future.”
Professor Graham Stone, who led the campaign for the University of Edinburgh to join Edinburgh Living Landscapes, said: “The University of Edinburgh is delighted to be joining this initiative. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to show real leadership and use our land to showcase high-quality, green infrastructure utilised in urban environments for people and wildlife. It will build on excellent relationships between those who manage parks and other green spaces in the city and the University.”
Edinburgh is known for its fantastic parks, gardens and active travel networks but the Edinburgh Living Landscape is hoping to take this a step further. Partners in the initiative want to ensure that high-quality, nature-rich places exist across the city, and are connected for both people and wildlife. Simple measures will be promoted – such as the use of window boxes, increasing the number of wildflower meadows and planting more street trees – but more innovative urban design such as green roofs and walls will also be considered.
The Edinburgh Living Landscape is a partnership project between the Scottish Wildlife Trust, City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust, GREENSURGE, University of Edinburgh and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to bring a transformational change to the city’s urban environment.