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Urban input

THE EDGE - a pan-institutional ginger group on urban design - is to hold its first debate outside London as it prepares for a national urban summit in October.

'Rethinking Urban Design' will take place on Friday 10 May at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh's showpiece environmental and ecological centre at Holyrood.

The debate will address a range of issues including planning, politics, public consultation and decision making, urban design, transport and travel and sustainable construction.

Speakers will include ICE president Mark Whitby, author of 'Creating Sustainable Cities' Herbert Girardet and former Scottish Minister for transport and the environment Sarah Boyack.

'Urban space, most of which is not high-density, is a critical realm for national productivity, ' said debate organiser Professor Paul Jowitt of Heriot Watt University.

'It is where 89% of us work, where 90% of us live and where 91% of national output is generated, yet it is also where only 20% of us, according to one survey, are content with our lot.'

'This is the territory of the Urban White Paper, a vast litany of raised expectations and unfulfilled promise. We hope that the projected urban summit to be held this October will be the occasion to elevate urban design up the political agenda.

'We are holding The Edge conference as an opportunity to sound out opinion and to prepare for the national event in October. We hope to establish some priorities for action and to argue that sustainability and urban living are increasingly different sides of the same coin, ' Jowitt explained.

The Edge is made up of representation from the ICE, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.

INFOPLUS For further information or to register contact Hazel Dawson (0131) 451 8162.

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