Friday, 6 June 2014

New Waverleygate

The New Waverleygate proposal - fantastic!
The New Waverleygate proposal - fantastic!
You know, I'm always filled with admiration for clever people who have the courage to use all the tools available to them to help get what they want. I wrote a few weeks ago about the humble bridge on the Borders railway that had become a 'vital link' and what a clever piece of management and PR speak this was.

The week before last I noticed an important story in the Edinburgh Evening News - it won't be news to some of you and I apologise for that but for others outside the Capital it may be interesting. It concerns the Caltongate development and those loveable rogues Artisan Real Estate. Although this development ticks all the right boxes for me, it hasn't exactly gone down well with the quiche-eating middle-classes of the Capital's inner slums.

The solution of course has been to rebrand the development. It is a tour de force in creative thinking and demonstrates complete mastery of the puppet strings of civic life. Instead of being called Caltongate, the new development will be known as New Waverleygate. It's a name that combines New Labour's 'new-ness' with one of Sir Walter Scott's most popular novels while retaining the familiar 'gate' word which has become incredibly popular since Watergate all those years ago.

Add in some new visualisations featuring  slightly fatter women than before - I'm sure it is cunningly intended to give the proposals 'broader appeal' - and promises of retaining some useless old buildings (which will never be kept) and we have a complete makeover and a fantastically positive new image and brand. In other words, like the 'vital link' on the Borders railway, this is now an “international benchmark for sensitive and innovative development”. Amazing! There is even some planner-speak in there too where the developer talks about improving the “overall look and feel of the area”.

Artisan Real Estate, working in close partnership I am sure with the City of Edinburgh design team, have produced an outstanding revision of what was already a strong proposal. What makes it extra special is the fact that they haven't really changed anything except the name. This makes it a very clever piece of work and a great outcome for the developer and the planning department.

My hearty congratulations go out to everyone involved in this work which gets a gold star and a big tick in my little black book.  Cheerybye for now!

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