Granton Waterfront scoops UK award for city regeneration
Edinburgh’s ambitious plan to regenerate Granton Waterfront into a new coastal community has received UK-wide recognition at the Future Cities Forum Winter Awards.
Selected as the best development in the country in the master planning, regeneration and mixed use category, the City of Edinburgh Council’s £1.3 billion vision with Collective Architecture sets out to boost housing in the area, create a high quality, desirable place to live and transform streets to promote active travel, creating a vibrant, thriving hub on the water’s edge which responds to the climate emergency.
The award recognises the project’s fresh approach to creating a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable coastal quarter in Edinburgh, with judges praising the development’s focus on job creation, net zero ambitions and a heritage programme.
Cammy Day, leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Our regeneration of Granton will deliver thousands of fantastic and much-needed new homes, creating countless new jobs and apprenticeships in the process.
“It has been a hugely exciting year for the project with us breaking ground on two new prominent net zero housing developments, featuring loads of affordable and accessible homes. We’ve completely renovated Granton Station and created a new public square outside it and work will begin in January to transform the iconic Granton gasholder into an exciting public space. With our development partner Cruden now on board to help us take forward pre-development works for a first phase, I’m looking forward to turning Granton into the destination waterfront it has always deserved to be.
“We face big decisions about how we continue to regenerate parts of our city going forward, and recognition like this from the Future Cities Forum - for how Edinburgh and the council is leading the way in the UK when it comes to sustainable, desirable new home design and restoring incredible historic spaces - is hugely welcome.
“Over the next fifteen years, our ambition is to deliver around 3,500 new net zero homes, great services such as a school and medical centre and new space for businesses and creative enterprise. Our capital can continue to flourish if we make bold planning, design and redevelopment decisions like these with the backing of the UK and Scottish Governments.”
Jude Barber, director, Collective Architecture, added: “It is wonderful to hear that Granton Waterfront Development Framework has been recognised with this award. We thoroughly enjoyed developing this with the City of Edinburgh Council, partners, locals, Studio for New Realities and the wider design team. The ambitious strategic framework sets the scene for the development of Granton as a vibrant and inclusive coastal neighbourhood, rooted in its place, with a bright and promising future.”
The design team for the Granton Waterfront Development Framework includes Studio for New Realities, LUC, AECOM, ARUP, Gardiner and Theobald and Cushman & Wakefield.
Claire Hunt, head of landscape, ADP Architecture, said: “We’re delighted that Granton Station Square has been recognised in this award category. Our design for the square reflects the wonderful work in the masterplan as well as our own design principles to connect people with nature and to bring the layers of history of the site back into focus.
“Where train tracks once delivered people and coal to the gas works, they now deliver surface water run off to two large rain gardens. This sets the scene for the innovative ways the City of Edinburgh Council can approach sustainable drainage and bio-diversity increase in an urban context.
“Congratulations to you all, a lovely way to end the year – lots of hard work recognised.”
Confirming the award, Deborah Williams, head of region – midlands at Historic England, commented: “Edinburgh’s Granton Waterfront has job creation, strong net zero ambitions, and a vision of delivering a heritage programme. The creating of place is very important. Identifiably it’s a development from where it is, rather than just anywhere.”
Helen Taylor, director of practice at Scott Brownrigg, added: “The threads - in the master-plan document - on the fabric of space is very good. You can forget the other parts of Edinburgh (when you visit the city centre) so connecting Granton Waterfront is very important.”