Fay Young

curiosity about the ways of the world

Category: The City Talks (page 1 of 3)

What’s happening around Edinburgh?

Creative cities: built on can-do culture

All’s fair in love, war and creative city competition. Well, yes, maybe but losing a heartfelt City of Culture bid can hurt as Creative Dundee’s Gillian Easson freely admits. Continue reading

What on Earthy is this?

Just for the record, I objected to ugly plans for a new development at Canonmills on the banks of Edinburgh’s Water of Leith. Midnight was the deadline but my email to the Planning Committee prompted an auto response…the planning department officer was now away for two weeks. So I posted it on the City Council Planning Portal and got a response telling me my ‘truncated comment’ had been lodged.  Online objecting is not quite as easy as it seems, but still worth doing.  Why do I care?  It goes back a long way. Continue reading

Is Edinburgh finding its feet at last?

The news went more or less unnoticed last November.  I heard it with some surprise but it sounded thoroughly good news to me. Edinburgh was preparing for a bold step towards becoming a modern city centre, a European city with a little more room for people and a little less room for cars. Since the Living Streets conference did not attract mainstream media attention, Lesley Hinds’ announcement to a crowded room did not make it into the press. Given The Herald’s gloomy interpretation of a bright idea, it’s probably just as well. Continue reading

Poetry, politics and pedestrians

I’m walking home along Rose Street when writing on the wall catches my eye. Ron Butlin’s Recipe for Whisky. Perhaps not many people know it but this is the poem that launched Edinburgh’s Poetry Garden in St Andrew Square a full five years ago. It seems significant as I’ve just been to the Living Streets conference (Walking and the Urban Environment) which produced a few poetic surprises of its own. Continue reading

The human city

People Make Glasgow.  The new slogan was revealed after a marketing research campaign that trawled the wisdom of the crowd. Across the city and round the world, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau sought themes and words that summed up  the city. Continue reading

Give us statues we can look in the eye

I might have known better. Getting into the taxi in Queen Street Station one rainy day I couldn’t help commenting on George Square. Looking a little tidier today, I say, but what’s happening to the statues?

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It’s not Tesco

My curiosity was raised by three words scratched on the empty shop window. “It’s not Tesco,” was a nicely enigmatic teaser which turns out to be true. The food store about to open in Canonmills is a very different kind of business.

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Wanted: a covered market for Edinburgh

Imagine this. A warm October evening in the covered market: on the ground floor stalls packed with gleaming fruit and veg, upstairs friends gather to chat, drink and eat. We wander round, selecting small dishes to taste, secure our stools by the bar and dream about what might have been in Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms.

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The future is in our pockets

The philosopher’s toe: pictures by Andrea McCarthy

Looking back it was a prophetic moment though I did not know it at the time. Almost 14 years ago I covered a Scottish Enterprise conference on the future of Scotland. US futurist Joe Coates, grey and spindly as a heron, stalked the stage and talked about the potential of mobile technology using language most of us hardly understood. What future tourists would want, he said, was a digital companion they could carry in their pockets providing all the information they needed to know about any given place. Continue reading

Clear the clutter on Leith Walk

Ray Perman’s recent commentary on Leith Walk prompted Ross Armstrong to put down some thoughts about how to improve Edinburgh’s most interesting boulevard (but first he measured it on Google maps).

The amazing potential of Leith Walk strikes me every time I walk down it. It’s a great big boulevard that feels like it’s going to waste. Perhaps because the potential is so obvious to all, it’s always been assumed it will fulfill it eventually on it’s own. Continue reading

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