Portobello in Edinburgh wins ‘UK’s best neighbourhood’ prize

Portobello in Edinburgh has been voted the best neighbourhood in the UK and Ireland at the 2020 Urbanism Awards.

The city’s seaside community fought off strong competition from fellow finalists Levenshulme in Manchester and South Bank in Leeds.

The award is one of five given out each year by The Academy of Urbanism, a network of built environment experts from across Europe. They recognise Britain and Ireland’s best place, street, neighbourhood and town, as well as Europe’s best city.

Voted on by its members, the Academy judges against a number of social, economic and environmental factors, including good governance and commercial success.

The theme of this year’s Urbanism Awards is ‘inclusivity’ and welcomed nominations from places that demonstrate the value of diversity and illustrate the power of good urbanism to bring people together.

Cllr Maureen Child collected the award on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council on Wednesday. She said: ‘Sand, sea and a strong wave of community spirit make Portobello a truly special neighbourhood. This award recognises what we in the capital already know; that our seafront is a thriving and sustainable place to call home, to work or go to school or to simply spend the day.

Lead assessor, Tim Challans, commended Portobello for being an exemplar of the strength of local individuals and groups that create positive change. He said: ‘Portobello confirms that positive change can be led by strong but diverse community involvement, especially when there is a real commitment to and passion for the local neighbourhood by its residents. It is the strength of local individuals and groups that is the force driving this area forward.”

The assessment team also recognised the sensitive and responsive council policy. In an area with such a strong community input the council policy needs to be even more sensitive to the distinctiveness of an area and responsive to community action and reaction.

Past winners of The Great Neighbourhood award include Ashley Vale in Bristol, Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham and Sheffield’s Kelham Island.

Photo Credit – The City of Edinburgh Council

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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