Why Edinburgh should have more car-free days – Angus Robertson

Fun with bubbles at the Stockbridge Summer Solstice. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Fun with bubbles at the Stockbridge Summer Solstice. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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The summer solstice was special this year in Stockbridge, as the community and visitors from near and far were able to enjoy a traffic-free Raeburn Place with open-air performances, stalls and the excellent local cafes and shops.

Thousands of people attended the event, which was organised by Stockbridge and Inverleith Community Council and supported by Edinburgh Council and a team of volunteers.

Music included the Edinburgh Academy Pipes and Drums, the Stockbridge Colonies Choir, Stockbridge Glee, performers from the Edinburgh Music School and a host of further talents.

READ MORE: In pictures: Edinburgh’s first Open Streets day

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Earlier this year Edinburgh became the first city in the UK to join the Open Streets movement. Together with other great world cities like Paris, Bogota, and New York we now have the opportunity to enjoy people-friendly routes around the Old Town, with designated days without traffic.

Perhaps the Stockbridge solstice event and the open streets approach is a model that can be rolled out across parts of the city that don’t yet do something similar.

That is what happens every year in Vienna, where is a celebration of the different districts of the city. Over the course of a month the festival moves to all of the Austrian capital’s 23 districts.

Like at Stockbridge, it involves a stage, live music and entertainment, celebrating the best of the local community. Sounds good to me.