What if…?/ Scotland — Places

Wester Hailes

Louize Gibson, Citizen

I wish… my friends would look up from their phones and be more connected to each other.

Daisy Narayanan, Director of Urbanism, Sustrans

What if… Wester Hailes became a place where people were prioritised over infrastructure and traffic?

What if we took Wester Hailes apart like a jigsaw, and put it back together with bold urban moves, pushing infrastructure to the edges and taking traffic off some streets to create safe, secure attractive connections? What if instead of formal play parks, young people could have spaces that encouraged play, exploration and wonder? Let’s break the standard rules and rearrange our towns in a way that prioritises people and promotes physical and human connections by removing the physical and social barriers that are currently in place.

Eunice Main, Citizen

I wish… that the centre of Wester Hailes had a heart.

Ian Gilzean, Chief Architect, Scottish Government

What if… we repurposed the derelict petrol station site to create a new social and cultural centre for people who live, work or want to visit Wester Hailes?

A lively and welcoming community hub would provide a link between the key asset of the canal, the Westside Plaza shopping centre and the Wester Hailes Education Centre. A new landscaped park would allow a programme of outdoor and indoor events to take place, connecting with existing and proposed active travel routes and delivering a key component of the previous plan by Gehl Architects for Wester Hailes, linking the Healthy Living Centre through Westside Plaza to the canal.

Eoghan Howard + Emily Stevenson, Citizens

I wish… that there was a footbridge across the canal.

Katie Hay, 7N Architects

What if… the bridge was more than a way to the other side?

You would hardly know that Wester Hailes was so close to Edinburgh’s beloved Union Canal. A footbridge would make reaching the canal easy from the town centre. But what if this bridge was more than a way to the other side? What if it was a place to grow; to invigorate green spaces; to display art; to meet; to wonder? A joyous bridge to cross – a gateway that is as much about inviting people in, as improving connections out.

Bahiya Basheikh, Citizen

I wish… that the communities of Wester Hailes weren’t so segregated.

Mike Harrison, Harrison Stevens

What if… the people of Wester Hailes were able to find out what is going on in their neighbourhood through an internet based community hub?

There is a need for better connections across the seven areas of Wester Hailes, both physically and digitally. To digitally improve connections, a virtual community hub based around an app called ‘WHapp’, would provide coordinated information on events, activities and availability of space at existing community facilities across the whole Wester Hailes area. What the area needs isn’t necessarily another community building, but greater connectivity between what it already has.

Chuks Ododo, Ilisapeci (Illy) Rawalai, Citizens

I wish… we had a space where we could share and celebrate the cuisines of the many diverse cultures in Wester Hailes.

Rowan MacKinnon-Pryde + Nicky Thomson, Studio NIRO

What if… the redundant petrol station on at the heart of Wester Hailes was repurposed into a community dining room?

EAT EH14 invites you to join a series of seasonal communal dinners in a newly established dining room at the former petrol station.

The four events have been planned around solstice and equinox dates, with one dinner for each quarter celebrating locally grown seasonal produce from Wester Hailes.

EAT EH14 is a collaboration between the strong network of existing food and growing projects across Wester Hailes.

To watch the What if…?/Wester Hailes film, click here.