You are currently standing in Scotland’s sixth World Heritage Site – the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh.
UNESCO requires each site to have a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value. This lists its special qualities or values which must be understood and protected. Edinburgh’s values include its unique physical landscape and skyline, its monuments and green spaces, the contrasting designs of its Old and New Towns and the remarkable survival of its historic buildings.
This is the ‘official line’ on Edinburgh’s value, but what do its people think? We asked a range of people who live and work in our World Heritage city to tell us what they feel is special about it. Do you agree with their views?
Christine - resident
Edinburgh is often called a ‘City of Contrasts’ due to the difference between the dark, twisting streets of its Old Town and its elegantly ordered Georgian New Town. The city’s iconic skyline also contrasts the distinctive outline of its natural and cultural landmarks.
Many of Edinburgh’s people see a further contrast within the city’s stories. Behind those celebrated by its landmarks and streetscapes lie hidden histories on a range of subjects. These include poverty, the numerous women wrongly accused of witchcraft and the role of slavery in Georgian Edinburgh’s economic boom.
Sir Geoff Palmer OBE - Professor Emeritus at Heriot-Watt University and human rights activist
Jim - resident
Christine - Edinburgh
Sonny - tour guide. Invisible (Edinburgh) trains people who have been affected by homelessness to become walking tour guides. For more information or to book a tour, please visit invisible-cities.org
Rebecca - resident
Michael - resident
Melanie - resident