It is time that decommissioning policy be hastily re-examined in the UK. The government needs to commission a full evidence-based report into the environmental, social and economic benefits, comparing them to other options such as building more green energy stations and even spending the money on things like health or education.
‘Rights without any means of enforcement are truly useless. As part of the UK, Scotland is bound by the UN’s Aarhus Convention which requires that people must be able to challenge situations where their environmental rights are denied or environmental laws are broken. Article 9(4) says that these challenges must be “not prohibitively expensive”. But access to environmental justice is prohibitively expensive in Scotland’.
Top down policy won’t transform those wasted spaces. Meaningful regeneration grows upwards from community grassroots but it needs help from above. Fay Young introduces two articles by Susan Mansfield describing how empowered communities can transform local environments and quality of life.
‘The wilderness of Scotland is as artificial as any cityscape.’ ‘The Laird and the pauper live much closer in a city, but the injustice remains. It is simply easier to hide injustice in an area where the remains of life can be portrayed as a romantic feature, rather than a blemish.’ Reflections on the social injustice that destroys communities of Highland and inner city life.
Inverleith House gallery is to close. Was art sacrificed in a sharper focus on commerce and community at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh?