Edinburgh Farmers' Market. March 2008. Attribution: Renata Edge
  • 'This could be the holy grail to replace palm oil' - research team, BBC News (Sep 18, 2023)
  • Edinburgh is a hotbed of community self-empowerment - with the Edinburgh Tool Library showing the way, The Daily Alternative (Mar 14, 2023)

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Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. It is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore.

Edinburgh is Scotland's second most populous city and the seventh most populous in the United Kingdom. The official population estimates are 488,050 (2016) for the Locality of Edinburgh and 1,339,380 (2014) for the city region. Edinburgh lies at the heart of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland city region.

The city is known for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, the latter being the world's largest annual international arts festival. Edinburgh's Old Town and New Town together are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. W

Networks and sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]

Community resources[edit | edit source]

Share and Repair Network - Meet 'Edinburgh Tool Library'
Authors: Circular Communities Scotland, Feb 20, 2023

Climate action[edit | edit source]

Edinburgh: A net zero capital by 2030
Authors: Edinburgh Council, Oct 25, 2021

Environment quality[edit | edit source]


Open spaces[edit | edit source]

Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust

Community energy[edit | edit source]


Cycling activism[edit | edit source]

Since 1999 the percentage of all trips in Edinburgh made by bicycle has risen by an eighth, however travelling by bicycle still accounts for less than 2% of all trips taken by Edinburgh residents, with bicycle use lower than in many other European cities such as Amsterdam or Paris. Like most cities cycling is seen as a clean, environmentally friendly method of transportation, which needs little space, the provision of few, inexpensive facilities as well as a means of attempting to cut down on traffic congestion.

At present there are around 75 km of off-road cycleways in the Edinburgh area, with a similar length on on-road cycleways in the city. Greenways, which are the car-free bus corridors on the main radial routes into the city centre double up as cycle lanes.

Many improvements in facilities for cyclists in Edinburgh can be attributed to Spokes, the Lothian Cycle Campaign, formed in 1977. Attempts to make Edinburgh more "cycle friendly" have been made, particularly by Spokes. Some cyclists remain unconvinced that the promise of a "Model Cycle-Friendly City" has been achieved.

Food activism[edit | edit source]

The Food Assembly - Edinburgh - Leith Food Assembly

Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle[edit | edit source]


The Edinburgh Remakery is a social enterprise that teaches repair. The shop sells refurbished computers and furniture, and hosts workshops where people can come along and learn how to repair their own things. There's a big vision behind it: "we want to generate a repair revolution. This means changing the way people use and dispose of resources, encouraging manufacturers to build things to last and to be fixable, and making sure the facilities are in place to allow people to repair and reuse."

Sharing[edit | edit source]

Edinburgh Tool Library

Social inclusion[edit | edit source]

The Welcoming, 2021 Winner, UK Green Communities Award
Authors: Ashden, Nov 4, 2021

Sustainable transport activism[edit | edit source]

Given that Edinburgh is a small, relatively walkable city, travelling by foot is a common means of transport for the majority of citizens who live, work or visit the city. Like most urban zones, pedestrian density is at its highest in the commercial core of the city, where the majority of shops, businesses and offices are located, with pedestrian density tailing off rapidly through the inner city to the suburbs. In Edinburgh, pedestrian density is at its highest around Princes Street, George Street, Rose Street, the Royal Mile, the North and South Bridges as well as George IV Bridge. These are the areas where the majority of city centre shops are located, as well as bars, restaurants, pubs and tourist attractions such as the Scott Monument, Edinburgh Castle and the Holyrood Palace.

Unlike Glasgow, most of the city centre is not pedestrianised, with the exception of Rose Street (parallel to Princes Street), which is pedestrianised along its length. A section of the Royal Mile - one of the main tourist streets in Edinburgh - from the junction of George IV Bridge (Melbourne Place) to the junction with North Bridge, is pedestrianised through the use of automatic bollards which only give access to authorised vehicles. This is an area with pavement cafes and bars with tables outside.

Edinburgh Trams is a tramway in Edinburgh, Scotland, operated by Edinburgh Trams Ltd. It is a 18.5-kilometre (11.5 mi) line between Newhaven in Leith and Edinburgh Airport, with 23 stops.

A modern tram network for Edinburgh was proposed by Edinburgh Council in 1999, with detailed design work being done over the next decade. Construction of the first phase, linking Edinburgh Airport with Newhaven, began in June 2008, but encountered substantial delays and cost overruns. The line opened in May 2014, but only between the airport and York Place. In March 2019, the council approved the case for extending the line to Newhaven. Work on the extension started in November, and was completed on schedule in June 2023, despite being delayed for three months by the coronavirus pandemic.

In September 2023, an inquiry into the project, chaired by Lord Hardie, concluded that failings by Edinburgh Council and its arms-length companies were largely to blame for the delays in construction.

The service is operated by Edinburgh Trams Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Transport for Edinburgh, in which the City of Edinburgh Council has a controlling interest. The service is equipped with 27 CAF Urbos vehicles. It runs at a seven-minute interval for most of the day, seven days per week. Fares and ticketing are integrated with Lothian Buses, with the same fares charged on both systems, except for services to the airport where the tram is more expensive.

The Union Canal was opened in 1822 and provides an inland waterway link from Edinburgh to Falkirk and from there to Glasgow via the Forth and Clyde Canal. It is currently owned by the public corporation Scottish Canals and chiefly used for leisure purposes.

News and comment[edit | edit source]


  • When Edinburgh's Canongate community resisted a crass urban development, they deployed a "working-class cosmopolitanism", The Daily Alternative (Jul 28, 2022)
  • More flowers, fewer cars: the rewilders turning parking spaces into parks, The Guardian (Jun 22, 2022) — Across the UK and Europe, the ‘parklet’ movement is gaining pace, transforming dead spaces where cars used to be into pockets of green


2025 vision for George Street unveiled, Feb 24[1]


Edinburgh University divests from all fossil fuels, Feb 6[2]


Every town needs a remakery, Mar 15[3]


Final route for new Edinburgh cycle path given go-ahead, Dec 17

Edinburgh Tool Library: Creativity, Community, and Cutting Resource Use, February 8[4]


Edinburgh's new Food Assembly launches in Leith, October 19[5]

Community-owned solar panels to be installed in 25 Council buildings throughout Edinburgh. May 25[6]

MSPs Mounted Electric Bikes to Launch eCycle - Edinburgh Colleges' and Universities' Green Transport Initiative, March 31

Campaigners hail Edinburgh's 20mph speed limit plan, March 11[7]


Edinburgh Trams passenger service to begin May 31, 2014[8]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]

Edinburgh's Innertube Map

Past events[edit | edit source]


Jun 17 - 18 The Power of Food Festival, weekend Festival celebrating community gardens in Edinburgh. Its purpose is to encourage greater societal wellbeing, environmental sustainability and social inclusion through the promotion of community food growing.


Jun 9 - 19 Edinburgh Festival of Cycling

See also[edit | edit source]

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External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Discussion[View | Edit]

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