How many times have you looked out of the window and moaned about what you saw? This one community in Edinburgh has come together to transform a neglected historic street into a thriving place for people They then took it forward, ran idea workshops with young people and residents, created a car free tropical island with palm trees to fire up the imagination and knuckled down for the last ten years to make it a reality. Aisha Hannibal, our Local Engagement Coordinator, spoke to our Isobel Leckie from the Edinburgh Living Streets Group to find out more.
Isobel Leckie has been a member of Edinburgh Living Streets Local Group since 2014 bringing her engagement skills as a former teacher and active campaigner to ambitious projects such as ‘The Causey’. West Crosscauseway (otherwise known as The Causey) is a street that runs east-west and historically links two of the principal roads running south out of town.
She has been working at grassroots level to transform a neglected, car dominated cityscape into a vibrant, people-friendly place that celebrates the history and spirit of the Southside of Edinburgh. She is not afraid to ask challenging questions to Council members while appealing to the wider community to back plans that would see an area close to the University to become a pedestrianized space for everyone to enjoy. So far she has secured pledges of over £500,000 of the £1 million plus needed to implement the development which is supported by other local campaign groups, city based architects and businesses located in the area.
She understands that change does not happen overnight. Her ten years invested in campaigning for The Causey reflects that it takes commitment, diplomacy and sheer determination to harness the voice of the community to make streets more accessible and centred around the needs of the people who live, work and study nearby.
You can find her on the streets of Edinburgh where she lives, speaking up in The Causey meetings and Edinburgh Local Group with other likeminded campaigners and on social media tweeting about new developments, appeals for support and ways to get involved.
We need members of the public to respond to the consultation in a positive way saying that yes it is very important that we have attractive, safer, more accessible streets that work for everyone
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