A city vision for Edinburgh

Throughout its history Edinburgh has been a city of innovation and change. In 2016 we are a successful city where population is growing more quickly than any other major city in the UK, and whose strong economy and quality of life is recognised across the world. However, the city needs to adapt and change if we are to continue to be a great place to live, to work and to visit.

To help us deliver that change, we need a clear vision of what the Edinburgh of 2050 should be like, for its residents, its businesses and its visitors.  Building this vision will give us an opportunity to think about the long term future of our city and create a meaningful, statement of the kind of city Edinburgh aspires to be. 

We want you to tell us what you think is great about Edinburgh just now, what could be better and what you think Edinburgh should be like in 2050.

Join the conversation

Below are a number of challenges that we’re looking for your feedback on. To join the conversation and put forward your own thoughts and ideas please register for this site. All you need to provide is an email address. You can also comment on and rate other people’s ideas too.

You can also keep up-to-date with progress by visiting edinburgh.org/2050.  

  • General Ideas

    Any ideas or suggestions about the vision for Edinburgh.

  • Communities

    A community is a social unit who share something in common. This is often a sense of shared ownership or belonging to a place, but there are also communities of shared interests, values and identity.

  • Digital and technology

    Edinburgh is home to a growing tech sector which offers diverse opportunities and has attracted a number of major companies and start-ups looking to launch their products. Edinburgh's universities are recognised for their contribution to the tech community; through supporting start-up businesses and producing world-leading and internationally-renowned technology research.

  • Built Environment

    Edinburgh is famous for its historical landmarks, buildings and beautiful architecture. The Old and New towns of Edinburgh were awarded World Heritage status in 1995 by UNESCO, recognising that the unique character of Edinburgh was an invaluable part of the shared heritage of humanity. But Edinburgh also includes the most densely populated areas in Scotland.

  • Business and Work

    Edinburgh offers unique benefits for employers and employees through the co-location of a thriving cultural city in which people want to live, a strong education and skills development infrastructure and a business environment already home to many small, medium and large enterprises.

  • Health

    Life expectancy in Edinburgh is above the national average (75.9 years for men, 80.9 years for women). People in Edinburgh are living longer than ever before and enjoy more years of good health, however more people are also living a long time with complex health issues.

  • Faith

    Faith covers all aspects of religious belief and spirituality. Faith may not be tied to a particular defined religious belief or authority, but can also encompass any philosophy of living and being. Modern-day Edinburgh is a multi-faith city where the beliefs of all religious groups are respected.

  • Transport

    Edinburgh is a major transport hub for air and rail, but has one of the lowest proportions of people driving to work of any large city in the UK. Edinburgh has a higher proportion of people who cycle and take the bus to work than anywhere else in Scotland and Edinburgh ranks first among UK cities in terms of bus travel.

  • Sustainable development

    As Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh has a key role in promoting a sustainable Scotland in line with the Sustainable Development goals (2015). Edinburgh has a quality of life consistently rated as one of the highest in the UK. Edinburgh’s popularity with people who want to live, work, study or simply visit is a huge benefit to the city but also presents some very particular challenges.

  • Young people

    Making Edinburgh a great city for young people will ensure that future generations are healthy, happy and able to enjoy their lives. Children who grow up with great care, support, experiences and opportunities will become confident individuals, effective contributors, and responsible citizens.

  • Housing

    Good quality housing is the key to the success of any place and Edinburgh is no different. A successful house building programme and an accessible market contribute enormously to the economy, help attract investment and people, and ensures good quality housing for residents.

  • Education

    Education providers in Edinburgh work in partnership to create and promote learning opportunities for everyone, of all ages and from all communities, in all parts of the city. Edinburgh is a place which uses its resources to promote inclusive, lifelong learning in education, families, communities and the workplace.

  • Physical Activity and Sport

    Improvements to cycling and walking routes in the city have sought to develop a greener, healthier and more accessible transport system. Edinburgh has one of the highest cycling levels of all urban areas in Scotland, with cycling having a valuable role to play as a means of transport, leisure activity and sport. Edinburgh also has a strong traditional base in sport with more than 400 sports clubs in the city.

  • Culture and Tourism

    Edinburgh has a long history of making a contribution to literature and was the first UNESCO City of Literature. Every year we host the world’s largest art festival and the world’s largest winter festival. Edinburgh’s architecture, history and continued cultural innovation make the city the second most popular tourist destination in the UK after London.

  • Community Safety

    Community safety involves various agencies working together with the local community to tackle persistent crime and disorder. This work involves voluntary organisations, and above all, individuals and families who want to make their neighbourhoods better places to live.

  • Natural Environment

    Edinburgh often tops polls for the best City to live in the UK and much of this is down to appeal of its green spaces, parks, conservation areas and woodlands. Edinburgh’s natural and historic environment contributes to its distinctive character, appeal and world-wide reputation.

  • There are no previous challenges