The City of Edinburgh Council has shown final concept designs for George Street.
Designs by LDA Design offer a glimpse of what George Street could look like in 2025. A 3D fly-through by Luma 3D Interactive of the new concept designs is also available.
Widened pavements, improved lighting, spaces for play and relaxation, and a cycling thoroughfare make for a people-focussed setting.
The designs both protect the area’s heritage and enhance the environment. They’ve done this by retaining symmetry and removing street clutter alongside urban greening.
The impact of heavy rain and floods will reduce through the sustainable management of surface water. This is including soft landscaping and areas of permeable surfacing.
The scheme is a key element of the Edinburgh City Centre Transformation. It includes walking and cycling connections to the forthcoming Meadows to George Street and City Centre West to East Link routes.
It also supports the City Mobility Plan. This is a ten-year strategy to overhaul transport and mobility in the Scottish capital. It will deliver a sustainable, net-zero carbon and inclusive future.
George Street designs
The final concept designs follow several years of development and engagement with the public and stakeholders to refine design objectives. This includes community councils and heritage groups such as Edinburgh World Heritage.
During February and March, further engagement will take place with key groups. Final designs will be brought to the Transport and Environment Committee in April before a statutory TRO process begins.
Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said:
“This vision has been years in the making. It follows significant engagement with the public representing different interests.
“It’s essential that its design works for everyone. Which is why we’ve spent time ensuring it meets people’s access needs. It has to allow residents to go about their daily lives and it will encourage local businesses to flourish.”
Kirstin Taylor, a director at LDA Design, says that the designers had sought to respond to a wide range of views on the future of the street. It felt like an exciting moment for Edinburgh.
“If approved, these designs will make George Street a nicer place to lunch and dwell. There will be less traffic and the street greening will also help make the city more climate resilient.”
Edinburgh World Heritage are supportive of the design.
“Over time, the proposal has evolved into a simple and elegant design, removing traffic and street clutter, with the potential to enhance the character and authenticity of this significant centrepiece of the first New Town in relation to its existing state.
“New elements have been introduced. They will echo the symmetry and materials of the historic streetscape.”
If approved, construction work could begin in 2023, with an anticipated completion in 2025. It will cost £32m, with £20m from Transport Scotland via Sustrans.