Street names in new Edinburgh neighbourhood to be inspired by Scots poets under culture quarter vision
Haar Street, Moonshine Wynd, Jigsaw Mews, Homer Lane and Beat Street are among the names being lined up for thoroughfares in a new quarter which aims to “redefine what it means to live and work in the city.”
The names of these streets at Edinburgh Park, where more than 1700 new homes are expected to be created in the next few years, have been proposed by Edinburgh-based poet Janette Ayachi and taken from new “couplets” she has created in honour of WS Graham, Sorley MacLean, Tom Leonard, Iain Crichton Smith and Douglas Dunn.
Others are proposed to be called Comet Kiss Street, Carradale Gardens, Genie Avenue, Bothy Wynd and Airborne Place in recognition of Edwin Morgan, Naomi Mitchison, Hugh McDiarmid, Hamish Henderson and Liz Lochhead.
The naming of streets after the writers was inspired by the fact that they were all celebrated in the fist phase of the Edinburgh Park development when the developers were gifted commemorative busts for a new park.
The street naming scheme is the latest in a series of cultural initiatives intended to create a new arts quarter out of the £500 million development, one of the largest to be pursued since the turn of the century, which is currently transforming 43 acres of land in west Edinburgh.
Already announced for the new development, which will also have offices for 7000 workers, are a new arts and exhibition centre designed by sculptor David Mach, a new work of art by Glasgow sculptor William Tucker, a sculpture by the late Eduardo Paolozzi, and a major tapestry commission from the Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh.
The development has its own photographer in residence, Andy Mather and commissioned Edinburgh-based poet Rachel Plummer to write new work inspired by Mach’s building.
Matthew Jarratt, Parabola’s arts consultant, said: “We worked closely with the Scottish Poetry Library to find poet Janette Ayachi and her research for the fantastic street naming strategy builds on the history of poetry at Edinburgh Park.
"Her proposals aim to celebrate each of the poets with a street name based on their work and a poetic couplet inspired by their ideas.
"We hope this will be a site-specific project for Edinburgh as a UNESCO City of Literature, and an inspiring idea for visitors which connects the whole development in a unique and poetic way.”
Ayachi said: “As a poet, at no time did I dream that I would one-day name streets or buildings for a large part of the city, yet it is happening because people are asking for more poetry in their every-day.”
Parabola founder Peter Millican said: “Our vision for Edinburgh Park is to create not just a great place to live or work, but also a cultural destination.
"By investing in a long-term arts strategy that crosses art forms, we will breathe new life into the area.
"Creating a place where people want to be benefits not only those that will live or work at Edinburgh Park, it will benefit surrounding communities as well. With a clear vision, the creative possibilities are endless.”