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Q&A with Andrew Kerr: how you can help shape Edinburgh's future

Invest Edinburgh Contributor
Edinburgh has always been known as a city of innovation and change. (Source: City of Edinburgh Council)

Edinburgh’s residents, businesses and partners are being invited to help shape the capital’s future under the 2050 Edinburgh City Vision project.

We spoke to City of Edinburgh Council chief executive Andrew Kerr to discover more.

What is the 2050 Edinburgh City Vision?

Edinburgh has always been known as a city of innovation and change. The last 30 years have given us plenty of examples of that and whatever else happens over the next 30 years, we know that the city will have to adapt and change again if we are to continue being a great place to live, to work and to invest.

To help us prepare for that future, we need a clear vision of what the Edinburgh of 2050 should be like, for its residents, its businesses and its visitors. That’s why we have launched the 2050 Edinburgh City Vision project.

We are starting the project with a blank canvas and, between now and Christmas, we’re calling upon Edinburgh residents, businesses, and partners to share their ideas and build a vision for the capital’s future.

What's the inspiration behind it?

Too often the plans we make are focused on short term objectives and miss the opportunity to make really significant, transformative change.

Developing this vision will give us an opportunity to think about the long term future of our city and build a meaningful, tailored statement of the kind of city Edinburgh aspires to be. We want this to be a vision that is specific to Edinburgh, brings together everyone with an interest in the city, and unlocks a creative spirit of collaboration.

There are many other cities across the world who have followed a similar process and we’re inspired by the example they offer.

What do you hope to achieve?

It’s very important that the vision we develop in this project is a vision for the whole city, not just a vision for the Council or indeed any one agency or interest group. What we want to encourage more than anything else is a real city-wide debate about the future of Edinburgh. If we achieve that, and I’m encouraged by the signs I see of that debate starting already, then I know that we’ll discover new ideas, new partnerships and new approaches to making sure that our city can continue to offer great quality of life for decades to come.

We want this to be a vision that is specific to Edinburgh, brings together everyone with an interest in the city, and unlocks a creative spirit of collaboration."

Who can respond? What excites you most about the project?

Between now and Christmas I want everyone in the city, in fact everyone who has a stake in the city, to join the conversation. Visit our 2050 Edinburgh City Vision website and submit your ideas. You can also follow the conversation at #Edinburgh2050.

As the vision is created we’ll develop and refine it with feedback from people and organisations across the city as well our neighbouring councils. Once agreed, it will be published next summer.

What’s so exciting about this project is the enthusiasm and creativity of the response we’ve received so far. We’re already inspired and encouraged by the ideas and offers of help that are coming in and we’re really looking forward to hearing what comes next.

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