Fountainbridge Canalside Initiative, Edinburgh

Project date: 2012

Fountainbridge Canalside Initiative (FCI) is a group made up of local residents and organisations who came together to create a vision to breathe new life into Fountainbridge in Edinburgh, a canalside area with a rich industrial history.

FCI first attended a Community Buildings workshop run by The Glass-House in spring 2012, and later approached us for bespoke support.

With the redevelopment of key sites in the area in the pipeline, FCI started working with the City of Edinburgh Council and developers with a local interest to help develop a unique, sustainable and vibrant mixed-neighbourhood and ensure that the local involvement played an integral role in the process.

The one-day workshop we subsequently delivered was an opportunity for the group as well as landowners, interest organisations and local decision-makers to meet each other in an independent and impartial setting and together explore ideas for the future of Fountainbridge.

Through interactive presentations, collaging, model making and discussions, the group was able to bring together stakeholders to build an understanding of the qualities of the existing place, learn and apply urban design principles and explore future opportunities for this neighbourhood.

Ideas emerged about creating better links to unlock the potential of the canal and utilising the history of the Rubber Building, a former rubber factory considered to be a significant heritage asset. The next day we ran a half-day workshop to help FCI consolidate their learning and create an action plan.

The Glass-House support as an independent enabler served as a catalyst for an open and supported discussion that brought people together, and gave equal space to the many interests in the room. Building capacity in the group with design skills and knowledge has supported their work to determine a bright and appropriate future for Fountainbridge.

“Great day and well organised by The Glass-House. Everyone made a positive contribution to the site’s development.”
– Lynn Smith, The EDI Group Ltd

The group documented the progress of this workshop in a film:

Fountainbridge Canalside Initiative – Community Design Workshop from JOEL VENET on Vimeo.

FCI are a dedicated and inspiring group of local people who are incredibly pro-active in bringing people together for a joint conversation, which supports views to be heard, discussed and a collaborative vision be created. They have been actively involved in the evolution of this neighbourhood, and have held and supported countless community festivals events and activities and built a Community Wikihouse on a site in Fountainbridge. Learn more about their work on their website.