July 21, 2021
AtlaS.WH project shapes Edinburgh’s next Management Plan
The current management plan for the Site covers the period 2017-2022 and the next iteration of the management plan will be produced in 2022.
As Edinburgh World Heritage is only one of three management partners responsible for the management of the World Heritage Site, alongside Historic Environment Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council, we must act as advocates for the learnings, best practices and conclusions brought forward by the AtlaS.WH project.
In order to shape our approach we organised an internal capacity building workshop based on the AtlaS.WH methodology for the development of Management Plans for Urban World Heritage Sites. These workshops concluded that our next management plan should better recognise the intangible value of the site, integrate and mainstream heritage within other city management policies, and seek to support participatory governance.
A major development in our undertaking was commissioning a historic city management study to consider and recommend ways in which heritage could be mainstreamed within city management decision making processes. The study concluded that barriers to mainstreaming heritage, such as inconsistency of the World Heritage Site Management Plan interface and other city management systems, and heritage being considered as a sole consideration of the planning department, were not insurmountable. International comparisons taken from the AtlaS.WH project suggested that with effective and determined leadership, the potential of the heritage sector in Edinburgh could be unleashed to make a far greater contribution to the life of the city.
We organised further workshops to evaluate our current management plan, and we integrated methodologies and processes from the Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) project, undertaken for Edinburgh as part of the AtlaS.WH project, into our overall approach. This is people-centred, as underlined in the AtlaS.WH methodology, by embracing a bottom-up process that relies on inputs from various stakeholders from the community. Data collected is based on local knowledge and is mostly qualitative. This is opposed to top-down approaches that rely on modelling tools and result in quantitative data.
The next steps for Edinburgh between now and autumn 2022 involve numerous community engagement exercises, building on those already undertaken for the CCRA project, the production of first drafts of the management plan and consultation, preparing a final draft and launching the plan.