The Causey: transforming a place

The Causey

Slideshow above: In 2007 we transformed the street for three days in an award-winning event. Inspired by this we held Ideas Workshops for our community to explore the area's history, examine the present road junction, and work together to imagine a better place.


The Causey is a historic space in the busy University quarter at the heart of the southside of Edinburgh's city centre. At the moment it's a traffic island, and cars have taken over — but could it become a place full of life and people, buzzing with activity?

Following on from the successful temporary project that was part of the SIX CITIES Design Festival in May 2007, The Causey Development Trust (CDT) is working to permanently transform the public space at West Crosscauseway into a vibrant place for people that reflects the excitement and enthusiasm generated by its temporary transformation to a tropical island in 2007.

The Causey Development Trust is a local community organisation led by a steering group of volunteers, that grew out of the temporary 2007 event. CDT engages with local people, works with professionals and partner organisations, considers the past, tries to understand the present and imagines the future of the place if it is freed from cars, re-designed and reclaimed for people and encourages safer walking and cycling.

Having engaged with the local community and raised awareness about the potential of the Causey, CDT has now achieved funding to appoint a professional design team. Ironside Farrar, specialists in the design of sustainable landscapes, were recently appointed and are leading a team working on a final design for The Causey with the aim of completing this in Spring 2015, ready to move forward to the construction stage. The brief for The Causey is based on the ideas of local people gathered through "Ideas Workshops" and public consultation events, expressing how they would like The Causey to be used in the future.

Also included in design team are lighting designer Kevan Shaw, artist Del Whitticase and Ben Hamilton Baillie, who advises on vehicle movement and shared spaces. Ironside Farrar report to a client team including representatives of CDT, City of Edinburgh Council, Sustrans Scotland, Edinburgh World Heritage, and Living Streets Scotland. This stage of the project is being managed by Karen Stevenson for CEC and Alison Blamire (Arcade Architects) for CDT.

CDT is grateful for all the support and encouragement received from other community organisations and funders since 2007.