Above: The proposals shown at our Community Exhibition (March 2015) have now been revised to take account of feedback from the Exhibition.
Download a summary of the proposals
Welcome to the next stage of the Causey Project.
Do you see what we see?
The Causey - vibrant, colourful, a place for people at the heart of the community, playing host to an array of engaging and uplifting arts and community events, rooted in history and community, recreating the buzz of this historically significant meeting place. A beautiful inspiring space, enabling people to create new stories for this authentic quarter bordering Edinburgh's World Heritage Site.
The Causey Development Trust is working at grassroots level to transform a neglected, car-dominated cityscape into a vibrant, people-friendly place that celebrates the history and spirit of the Southside of Edinburgh.
- create a distinctive city landmark at the edge of the World Heritage Site, drawing visitors beyond its boundary and connecting other key public spaces such as Holyrood Park and The Meadows, that will become an asset to the Southside of the city of Edinburgh.
- create an uplifting and inspiring community space that can play host to a wide variety of arts and community events, including farmers' markets, community celebrations and art installations, and provide outreach space for the nearby Southside Community Centre and other local partners.
- complement and enhance the evolving university quarter by creating an accessible urban place, using high-quality design and sustainable materials, acknowledging the beneficial effect of good design in creating a sense of well-being.
- celebrate the heritage of this overlooked yet historically significant part of the Southside, providing an engaging learning experience that draws in visitors, increases footfall in and around the area and brings together the diverse local community.
- promote positive health and well-being through active travel by prioritising walking and cycling, and by creating opportunities for neighbourliness and community partnership.
Above: 1745 map showing the importance of an east-west connection
Your Ideas from the community engagement process
The key ideas and themes that emerged from previous workshops were:
- Celebration of Place – history, heritage & people
- Connecting with the Churches – buildings & communities
- Connecting with the City – views to Arthur’s Seat
These formed our starting point.
Research and consideration of these ideas has identified some interesting and significant findings:
Significance of place
Records suggest that Crosscausey may have been one of the earlier streets in Edinburgh to be 'paved'. Historical plans also indicated the earliest street pattern provided an important east west connection within the south of the city.
Significance of name
Cobbles used to form the early street surfaces in Edinburgh were called “cassies” or “causeys”. It is this early use of innovative materials and surfacing techniques on our site that is likely to have given rise to its place name. 'Crosscausey' – meaning the cross street that is paved.
Significance of location
Due to close proximity and early timing of work it is likely that the original material used to pave the street was sourced from the old quarry at Salisbury Crags, not far from the view looking eastwards to Arthur’s Seat.
Significance of material
The quarry at Salisbury Crags provided basalt; derived from volcanic activity, it is a hard grey igneous rock ideally suited as a paving material. A few of the very early streets of Edinburgh were surfaced using this material. Some of the existing road setts on West Crosscauseway may indeed be formed from this basalt.
It was in the 18th Century at this quarry on Salisbury Crags that James Hutton, known as the founder of modern geology, arrived at his 'Theory of the Earth'. Hutton recognised that the history of the Earth could be determined by understanding how processes such as erosion and sedimentation work.
Consultation & field trips
We have talked with Edinburgh Geological Society and undertaken a field trip to Salisbury Crags & Hutton's Section to see for ourselves and better understand the geological characteristics and significance of the location.
- Rebuild 'The Causey': Celebrating historic role in Edinburgh's street paving innovation, reintroducing the simple wall to wall setted surface in traditionally proportioned basalt setts, formed in a mix of old setts reclaimed from on site materials and new basalt setts sourced to match.
- Restore primacy of the historic east - west route better supporting and promoting the importance of pedestrian and cyclist movements and pivotal role in city connections.
- Incorporate Geological References: integrate a bold artistic interpretation of local geological features, extending wall to wall and aligned on the traditional east west axis.
- Promote association with world famous geological site improving awareness, understanding, and connections between The Causey and Hutton's Section in the Royal Park.
- Create a stronger connection between the Churches and The Causey by drawing out the sense of church presence beyond the walled and railing barriers into the public space; retaining security yet creating a more welcoming and accessible place.
Above: Design proposal. Download a pdf to see this in more detail.
Above: Movement. Download a pdf to see this in more detail.
The design proposals will change the way in which pedestrians, cyclists and vehicle users move through the space. Our ambition is to reduce the dominance of vehicle traffic to refocus the space to give priority to pedestrians and cyclists. The following key changes are proposed:
West Crosscauseway (western section)
- The western section of West Crosscauseway is closed to through traffic to form a triangular pedestrian zone.
- Authorised vehicles will be permitted into this space for events only vua removable bollards at the east, next to Quarry Close.
- Fully accessible for pedestrians and cyclists with no significant kerb/ steps affecting access
West Crosscauseway (eastern section)
- Two way vehicle access for local servicing only
- Two way cycle access connecting to a new toucan crossing on Nicolson Street.
- Loading will not be restricted on West Crosscauseway, but closure of the through route will prevent heavy goods vehicle (HGV) access. HGV loading will take place on Nicolson Street.
- Full emergency vehicle access turning space is accommodated.
- Proposals for on-street waste storage are currently being considered; collection may need to use the Council's smaller refuse vehicle
- On street permit parking is being reviewed. Alternative options for the displaced spaces are currently being considered by The City of Edinburgh Council.
Chapel Street / Buccleuch Street
- Two way through traffic is retained
- Road narrowing and a raised table will reduce traffic speeds
- The 'carriageway' will be 25mm lower than the adjacent pedestrian spaces and paved in the same material.
- North-south cycle access will use the vehicle route.
- Road narrowing will require 24 hour restriction on loading and waiting to maintain through traffic flows.
- Opportunity for vehicle parking within Chapel of Ease curtilage is being explored
All streets are controlled and enforced through the Traffic Regulation Orders and will be supported with road traffic signage, with no yellow lining proposed.
These images illustrate how the proposed scheme will look and feel. You will note that the intention is to use the same high quality materials across the space including the road carriageway and bring the detail material into the frontage spaces of both the Buccleuch and Greyfriars Church and the Chapel of Ease to emphasise their connection and pivotal role. The opportunity to apply colour to existing rendered buildings is being explored to further define and strengthen the core triangular space.
Above: view of Causey from Chapel Street looking east
Above: West Crosscauseway looking west
Above: West Crosscauseway from Nicolson Street
These images represent the ambience of the proposed scheme and the increased opportunity the space will have for community events use. The proposals aim to create a thriving Southside hub and place where people can meet, neighbours can chat and businesses can prosper. Lighting and art have played an important role for previous temporary installations and will continue to play an important role as the project is developed.
If supported, the current scheme will be taken to construction design stage with all necessary approvals and consents secured. Funding is currently being secured and delivery is likely to happen in multiple project stages. Our ambition is to commence work on site by the end of March 2016.