The Edinburgh Makar - A Drama in Time #Edinburgh2050

20 February 2017

The Edinburgh Makar Christine De Luca

The Edinburgh Makar, Christine De Luca, brings a poetic touch to our #Edinburgh2050 blog series.

The title of the poem comes from the visionary Sir Patrick Geddes, writing in relation to urban planning. (Quoted by Cowan, R (1998), The people and the process, in Introducing Urban Design: Interventions and Responses, edited by Greed, C., Roberts, M., Longman).


Look back four decades: who would have thought

we’d change so much or be so digital-dependent?

Look ahead four decades and make a wish-list for

our planners to raise their game, ignite imagination.                     


Think of our city in 2050: bigger and more diverse;

an interplay of hopes and dreams and possibilities.  

Still skylines to delight, still grace and open space,

but good homes, good health built-in for everyone.


Can we keep the citizen central to the plan, the heart:

a living, breathing city; not just a backdrop or vista

or playground for the wealthy or the tourist?  A place

where decision-makers are incorruptible and honest.


We’ll need wise choices to be easy choices for how

we work, play, move around, connect with nature;

how we shop, and share and interact.  Will algorithms

still play second fiddle to intuition, wonder, instinct? 


We’ll need solutions from material science; from

environmentalists, technologists and architects.

And what’s after 10g?  The use-by date on skills

and knowledge ever shortens – we’ll need a city


that tutors us from nursery to nursing home.    

And let’s make the city’s culture more contagious,

enchanting all our citizens, while reaching out

across the world with stunning offerings.


Let’s banish laissez-faire and set aside that mantra,

the one that says it’s aye been; make space for newness,

even the exotic.  Let’s gets the structure right, conserve

the best, so others can transform it for their future.


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