Congress for the new Urbanism 2008
Western harbour at Leith, Edinburgh receives Charter Award
The master plan for Western Harbour in Edinburgh's port, Leith, has been selected by the important American urban pressure group, the Congress for the New Urbanism, (CNU), to receive its prestigious 2008 Charter Award.
Each year, CNU gives awards to urban designs from around the world that are considered to best embody and advance CNU's principles, supporting the creation of walkable, neighbourhood-based development as an alternative to urban sprawl. The CNU's principles influenced the Prince of Wales's thinking on urban design and in particular the design of his new village in Dorset, Poundbury. There remains a strong connection between the CNU and the Prince of Wales's Foundation for the Built Environment in London.
The winning master plan for Western Harbour designed by Robert Adam for Forth Ports PLC is part of the continued regeneration of the Leith area of Edinburgh. This traditional urban design avoids grand gestures and iconic buildings in favour of friendly places to live. The plan was developed by a multi-disciplinary team, lead by classical and traditional practice ADAM Architecture. Through a series of design workshops that studied related urban design, such as other historic ports in Scotland, the team considered the impact of other local factors such as ecology and climate. Their research has translated into an urban layout and form both suitable to the area and identifiable with it.
On receiving the Award, Robert Adam commented: "Our master plan is based on traditional principles similar to those advocated by the CNU. It will create a new area which will be interesting and varied, based around pedestrian-scaled streets and public space, and will be easily accessible to public transport. We believe that people will identify with the place and its buildings. The new architecture will not be any one style and will be individual but will be controlled to ensure continuity and the use of local materials."