Masterplan for Western Harbour

Tags for this project:

Location: Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland. Harbour

This development is located in the dock area of an important port in Scotland, where the adjoining city has been expanding since the devolution of executive and legislative powers from the UK to Scotland and the re-establishment of a Scottish Parliament. The harbour area had been a deprived industrial quarter of the city for many years, but regeneration has been stimulated by the clients who seek to develop the area into a mixed-use settlement.

While an existing master plan had already been approved for redevelopment of the harbour, it suffered from a lack of variety and urban form that was set to create an unpleasant and somewhat dangerous neighborhood. New designers were commissioned to design this master plan that seeks to create a place with an identity specific to the locality that will complement the character and facilities of the city.

Through the use of the principles of traditional and New Urbanism and an understanding of traditional urban form in the region, a complex, livable and attractive new quarter of the city has been planned, with an urban texture that is much more closely related to the historic fabric of the adjacent historic areas. The new area includes houses, apartments, affordable housing units, commercial space, retail space, public building space including a local museum, and parking space.

The design was guided by a series of analyses and studies undertaken by different members of the team. Climatic and ecological studies were undertaken to guide the use of open space, the urban configuration best suited to the management of coastal weather conditions, protection of the local ecology and ensure environmental sustainability. Transport and movement studies created a street and spatial hierarchy, established walkable areas, controlled the use of motor vehicles and distributed public transport. Commercial and residential analysis gave a framework for successful mixed uses and the distribution of affordable housing. Spatial studies compared figure and ground analysis and guided the design of public space.

Lessons learned: Generic coding that is based on the character analysis of each street and space, specific ranges of materials, and clear identification type has been widely accepted by the local architectural community, which will help to prevent bad design from ruining the character of the area as a whole.

Transect Zone(s): T5 center, T6 core.
Status: 1-25% Built
Guiding Charter Principle(s): Principles 10, 11, 16, 18, 27
Project or Plan's Scale: Neighborhood
Features: Mixed uses, Waterfront.
Land area (in acres): 100
Total built area (in sq. ft.):
Total project cost (in local currency):
Retail area (in sq. ft.):
Office area (in sq. ft.):
Industrial area (in sq. ft.):
Number of hotel units:
Number of residential units (include live/work): 3000
Parks & green space (in acres): 22
Residential types: Low-rise flats, Small lot detached.
Project team designers: Robert Adam Architects
Project team developers: Forth Ports Development

Previous site status: Redevelopment

Starting/Ending date of construction/implementation: - 2020