Age-friendly cities and communities

(Adapted from an email from Dr Ryan Woolrych)

Click the thumbnails to read more:

A study has commenced exploring how neighourhood can better support older adults to live at home and in their communities.

Give the rapid growth of ageing populations in many cities, the importance of developing appropriate design interventions to enable active and healthy lifestyles for older residents is more urgent than ever.

Place-making with older adults: Towards age-friendly communities is a three year project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and will be exploring how older adults experience the communities they live in.

We will be working closely with older adults, local government, service providers, community organisations and pracitioners to deliver policy and practice recommendations to support the delivery of age-friendly cities and communities.

As part of the work we are looking to speak to anybody over the age of 60 who  currently lives in Leith. Please contact Dr Ryan Woolrych on or by telephone on 0131 451 3899 or 07957 406677 to hear more about the project or to participate in the research.

Please also visit our website on or join us on Twitter @placeage.

What matters to YOU?

(with thanks to the Scottish Community Alliance for permission to re-use their text in this post)

The idea to crowdsource a Fairer Scotland policy comes from a Government that says it wants to be more open and transparent than ever before. But that’s going to be easier said than done. There’s a whole series of local events being run – as you’d expect – but the hope is that communities will really take it upon themselves to have these conversations. Small grants are available to help with that if needed.

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Leith harbour: potential transformation

STV has published Scottish Enterprise’s wishlist for Leith Harbour. This includes a new berth for large ships, demolishing of listed buildings such as the Imperial grain Silo and dredging the Firth of Forth. But just now there is no funding for this proposed set of developments.

There’s further detail in the Redacted Port of Leith Development Framework.

Please read and comment!


Conservation Area character appraisals

(adapted from an email from Edinburgh Council)

Edinburgh Council is currently reviewing its character appraisals for Edinburgh’s conservation areas.

Character appraisals guide the local planning authority in making planning decisions and, where opportunities arise, in preparing enhancement proposals.

The current character appraisal for Leith can be viewed here:

The intention is to make the appraisals more interactive and the first of these has been completed for the Grange Conservation Area:

A draft revised character appraisal is programmed for presentation to the Planning Committee in February 2015. Following this there will be a comprehensive consultation on the appraisal.

At this stage, we would be pleased to know if there are any issues you would like to see included in the draft appraisal.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss this or arrange a meeting.

Jack Gillon, Principal Practitioner, Built & Natural Heritage, Services for Communities, The City of Edinburgh Council, Waverley Court, Level G3, 4 East Market Street Edinburgh, EH8 8BG. Tel 0131 469 3634.


Research into CCs’ online performances – how is Leith Central doing?

On Monday, Bruce Ryan gave a talk on his research into CC’s online performances, and then looked at LCCC’s performance. It is doing pretty well, which might be expected because Bruce is LCCC’s web-weaver (and the author of this post). However, there are ways that LCCC might improve its e-engagement, and work is in progress on one of these.

Here are Bruce’s slides, and here are his his speaking notes. The sources for these are

Edinburgh Planning Concordat Engagement Fund – very small uptake

Edinburgh Council’s Planning Committee agreed in August 2013 to provide small grants (around £300) to assist community councils in carrying out engagement on major applications*. Recently, the Planning Committee stated that it’s received only 2 applications for such grants. It has asked CCs:

  1. Is there a particular reason why you have not applied for grant assistance to engage with the wider community?
  2. Are there any changes to the rules which would make it easier for you to apply for assistance?
  3. Any other comments?

*As far as the author of this post is aware, the Edinburgh Planning Concordat is the framework for this assistance.

Leith Central CC’s planning subcommittee suggested the following reasons:

  • available funds are insignificant compared to developers’ resources
  • the timescales to deploy any funds are often very short: CCs who will often struggle to submit a considered response, don’t have time to think about applications at this point
  • unless a consultation can address all relevant households (efficiently and reliably), any quantitative results are statistically irrelevant (or even unreliable, as we can’t check the authenticity of individual responses); so we rely on old-fashioned qualitative methods – small numbers, but free
Of course, CEC could automatically pay a consultation grant to a CC (proportionate to scale of application) as a major application is being submitted (and the processing fee is collected).