A New Story

By Mike Small
Last night at the Storytelling Centre, in Edinburgh a packed crowd discussed the new Citizen project and how we can ‘re-imagine the city’. The group has evolved after years of frustration and anger at the state of Edinburgh and look to radical alternatives from elsewhere about how we manage housing, local democracy, social justice and public space.

The Scotsman covers the launch here. Read CommonSpace here.

The story we’ve been told – that endless growth and a city economy focused around perpetual tourism – seems to many people to be just implausible.  Edinburgh as a theme park increasingly feels like a space that alienates its own residents. The group issued the following statement:

“Today we’re launching a new network of individuals, campaigns and community groups organising to defend the city of Edinburgh against speculators and developers, corruption and negligence; against the rampant growth model that guides every single decision; against the hollowing-out of the city centre and the endless prioritisation of the rich against the poor, the transient against the permanent and the “selling” and “marketing” that seems to have become the essential element of civic governance.

We’re against the grinding force of gentrification and social cleansing; the seizure and privatisation of public space; and the lack of public housing and the funneling of vast sums of private rent – whether in short-term or long-term lets – into the hands of a rentier class whose coffers are swollen on the misery of others.

This isn’t a capital city it’s a city of capital disfigured by exploitation. It doesn’t have to be like this.

We’re kick-starting a process of Re-imagining the City – creating a year long process of re-envisaging Edinburgh as a sustainable place for people to live in, one of social justice and equality, not just a space for consumption and profit. We’ll be hosting monthly face-to-face organising meetings, large-scale public events on the key issues of the city, and creating a positive alternative for change.”

Got a story you want to share on our blog? Contact us at:  info@reimaginingthecity.scot

Join the network by writing to us at:  info@reimaginingthecity.scot [you can join as an individual or a group].

Read and share our Aims here.

[image credit Norrie Harman]
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