A new campaign launches today inviting everyone who lives in Edinburgh to share what matters most to them for the future of the city. The project will compile suggestions into a collective ‘City Vision’, used to shape what the Capital will be like in the year 2050.
With findings to be announced next year, the 2050 Edinburgh City Vision will combine the views of Edinburgh residents – a blueprint for the future that every person, business and organisation can take inspiration from when planning for the next 32 years.
Delivered by Marketing Edinburgh, the campaign is being launched so that everyone in the Capital can work together to achieve the city’s goals – and is an opportunity for citizens to positively influence their city’s future development and policy-makers’ plans.
Planning behind the campaign dates back to Autumn 2016, when a major conversation about the future of Edinburgh was launched, inviting festivals, universities, media, schools and the city’s public and private sectors to talk about their aspirations, plans and hopes.
Some initial research with residents was also undertaken, following which, some key themes emerged, suggesting that Edinburgh citizens want the city to be greener and more inclusive in the future, with higher levels of affordable housing and quality jobs. A wider network of connections to the rest of the world (be it via travel, export or technology) is also high on the agenda for locals come 2050.
Building on this work, the launch of this campaign is the next step – the development of a city-wide marketing campaign, inviting everyone who lives in the Capital to get their own voice and vision heard. From today, suggestions can be submitted through www.edinburgh2050.com and Edinburgh locals will also have the opportunity to take part in a diverse range of activities designed to inspire them on the possibilities of the future, which will be rolled out across the city from now, until December.
Starting today, on-street advertising, inspired by the themes identified as being of interest to locals, will begin to appear in key locations, encouraging people to visit the 2050 Edinburgh website to share what their future Edinburgh will be like. The adverts feature a series of striking photographs, over laid with illustrations which hint towards the possibilities for Edinburgh's future, posing the question - 'My Edinburgh will ...?'.
At the heart of the campaign is a large scale interactive word cloud, powered by the 2050 Edinburgh website. This will collect City Vision submissions from the public and showcase them in real time on continuously updating screens, dotted around high-profile locations, including Edinburgh Waverley train station. The word cloud will go live on Monday 10th September, creating an impactful talking point, encouraging more people to get involved and share their views.
To help visualise what the city could be like in years to come, a 'taxi to the future' will also hit the streets from 10th September. Provided by City Cabs, the taxi ride will take those with an EH postcode to their desired destination via a bespoke GPS map route, which will depict what locations it passes could look like in 2050. Passengers can expect to see 3D printed houses and urban farms visualised on their journey, which can be booked via the Forever Edinburgh Instagram (@thisisedinburgh) and Twitter (@edinburgh) channels and ‘paid for’ by sharing a City Vision with the driver.
In October, applications will open for the next phase of the 2050 Edinburgh City Vision campaign - a job search for the next generation of ‘futurists’. Three lucky applicants will win a trip to understand what Edinburgh can learn from other European cities which are also pioneering progress, for example Nordic countries which are excelling in environment research. Upon return, budding futurists will collate their learnings via an essay and vlog series which will be shared on the This Is Edinburgh social media channels.
As winter approaches, a series of coffee shop partnerships will be announced, offering 'a coffee for your thoughts'. Edinburgh locals will be invited to get together to share their views on what they want Edinburgh to be like in 2050, in exchange for a free morning coffee at five city-wide locations.
Edinburgh Lord Provost, Frank Ross, said:
This is a unique opportunity to get people thinking and invigorated by our collective future. I call upon each and every Edinburgh citizen to share their views and make their voice heard. The foundations that we lay today through this 2050 vision process will define our Capital City for generations to come.
John Donnelly, Chief Executive, Marketing Edinburgh, said:
'This is an opportunity for the people of Edinburgh to voice their opinions, knowing they will be considered to collectively decide what happens next in their city.
Our Capital is already an outstanding city to live in, but we don’t want to stand still. We have long been at the forefront of creativity and innovation, so it's exciting to consider the possibilities the next 32 years hold, and think about where we can go next. The Edinburgh of the future will be even better than it is today.'
A number of high profile partners have already signed up to support the campaign, including the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Airport, The National Library of Scotland, Morton Ward, Parabola, Turkish Airlines and Kwik-Fit Founder and entrepreneur Sir Tom Farmer. Media partners including JCDecaux, Lothian Buses, Edinburgh Evening News and Waverley Mall have also all backed the campaign, offering advertising support to help spread the word amongst Edinburgh’s people.
However, first and foremost this campaign is for the people of Edinburgh, with their voices at the heart of it. Communities across the city are invited to help anyone unable to access a computer independently take part. With permission from parents or guardians, school and nursery aged children can submit their views - via supervised access to the 2050 Edinburgh City Vision website if they are old enough to type, or through paintings, drawings, and voice or video recordings, which teachers can send to the campaign’s social media channels or contact email address, listed at www.edinburgh2050.com.
What will your future Edinburgh be like? Tell us at: edinburgh2050.com