Bold new plans have been launched to transform the Capital into an idyllic urban paradise.
The Edinburgh Living Landscape project aims to pepper the city with wildflower meadows, woodlands and plant-covered roofs. And planners claim the initiative – backed by the city council, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust, Greensurge and the Royal Botanic Garden – will lead to cleaner water and improved air quality.
The drive seeks to make Edinburgh the best European city to live in by 2050, as well as one of the most sustainable.
Councillor Nick Gardner, chairman of Edinburgh Living Landscape, said the ambitious project would “unite the natural world and our urban spaces”.
He said: “Green spaces are an important part of our city, and still a part that we can access for free. As human beings, we need green spaces – both for our health and wellbeing.
“There is evidence to suggest that more greenery in the city is good for people’s wellbeing.
“Projects like this are good for the reputation of the city. As the capital city, Edinburgh does have a leadership role – and bringing the environment issue to the forefront is part of that.”
Under the new scheme, derelict land around the city is set to be transformed, with footpaths and cycle paths upgraded.
The proposals could also encourage wildlife back to the city and help prevent flooding.
Some of the plans have already been put into action, such as the Urban Pollinator Project – a collaboration between the council and Edinburgh University that converts grassland into wildflower meadows to boost bee and butterfly numbers.
Local Government and Planning Minister Derek Mackay said: “Their ambition to make Edinburgh the best city to live by 2050 is testament to the determination of all involved to enhance the Capital’s urban environment for the benefit of future generations.”
The city’s environment convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said the initiative would boost biodiversity.
She said: “We are very proud of the parks and green spaces across the city, and Edinburgh Living Landscape will not only work to enhance their quality and biodiversity, but will encourage involvement from the people who live here.”