Architects look to raise the roof with green docks plans
VEGETABLE patches in the hallway and gardens on the rooftops are among the proposals being lined up for the redevelopment of Leith Docks.
The architects behind the framework for the massive development of the area want to introduce environmental aspects that will provide a "new way of living".
They also want to create buildings that will encourage a sense of community, with residents of buildings sharing some social spaces.
Edinburgh-based RMJM, who were also behind the Scottish Parliament, say that the designs will be as innovative as the Stockbridge colonies were when they were created.
Tony Kettle, design director at RMJM, said: "We want to provide very sustainable low-energy units that are also affordable. There is the potential to create new models of living down there (in Leith] that have never been done that way.
"The credit crunch could be the right time to do something like that because it makes people think differently about what they can build and how much people can afford to buy. If you take the colonies down at Stockbridge, they were a completely different living model that creates a social heart to that area. It does so many things yet the buildings are tiny.
"If you look at the Scottish tenement you find that people love living in them. We can move that forward by improving them and introducing green spaces that will allow people to do things like grow vegetables. We could also look at ways of reducing energy bills."
He said that he sees Leith as an area where a series of new housing models could be created because there is "a blank sheet of paper".
He added: "People would start to look after these spaces well and it would be a great way for people to stop and get to know their neighbours. It would be a real sense of community."
The ideas are likely to form part of the detailed individual masterplans to be submitted for the nine 'villages' in and around Leith Docks. The first masterplan is set to be revealed later this year.
Site owner Forth Ports said it wants around a third of the development to be devoted to the creation of new open spaces.
A spokesman for Forth Ports said: "Two of the key aims for the Leith Docks regeneration are to ensure we have a strong environmental focus, promoting sustainable practices across the development and that we create a strong sense of community."
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