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SEDA Conference 2022 Saturday Field Trip: Innovative Projects in Edinburgh

September 3, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 5:30 pm


On Saturday 3 September, we invite you to join SEDA for a tour of great projects, following on from our conference ‘A Meeting of Minds‘ the day before.

The tour will visit three great projects, two led by campaigning community groups in the city, and a little visited innovatively built, and beautiful social building, that we think you should see and find out about, with the people who design, run and commissioned them. It is planned so you can wind up at the Edinburgh Climate Festival, where you can meet more of the groups campaigning and making more projects to address the climate crisis, in the city.

The tour is open to all, though aimed principally at those attending the Conference (in person or online) the day before. So if you’re a SEDA member who couldn’t get the day off before and missed meeting up at the Conference, or watched remotely, please come down on Saturday to catch up with other members and conference delegates, and discuss how we work together, while seeing and hearing about some really interesting projects.

The tour will be led by SEDA Directors and members at each site, and the travel between sites will be ‘self directed’ i.e. access to each site needs to be self-arranged, preferably on foot or by bike / public transport. The tour is free, and you can come for the whole thing, or turn up for specific parts, please just register your attendance for each of the tour parts you want to attend i.e. all three parts for the full tour, so we can check on numbers and make appropriate arrangements. Overall numbers are quite generous, but there are upper limits, so please don’t just turn up!

The schedule of visits is as below, and a full document of how and where to access the projects will be issued before the event, to be included in an email and attached to this page. This will include directions and recommended buses (you will need a bus or a bike to get from at least the second to the third project, but most people will be able to walk from the first to the second).

10am start: Astley Ainslie Community Trust, What Could a Community Buy-Out Achieve to make the City a More Sustainable Place to Live? Meet Stuart Buchanan and others from the AACT to hear about how their proposed community buy-out of the Astley Ainslie Hospital site is progressing, and the developing ideas proposed to develop the biggest urban, community and focused run, green space in Scotland, in the Morningside /Grange areas of Edinburgh.

What can be achieved? How do you go about this? What could the city look like, and how can you balance the needs of the public and enhance the biodiversity and climate resilience of the site? Starting from the Hospital Main Gate, off Whitehouse Terrace / Newbattle Terrace (EH9 2EZ). Please do not enter the site unless with a Guide (still a functioning hospital). Find out more and download the Feasibility Study from:


11/11.30am: Take Bus or walk (about 20-30 minutes) to King’s Buildings, West Mains Road.

12.00-1.30pm: Arcadia Nursery, Max Born Crescent off West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3BF. A chance to look round the lovely and innovative, mass timber nursery designed by Malcolm Fraser Architects in 2014, guided by Malcolm (now part of Fraser/Livingstone Architects) and a chance to speak to the Nursery staff about what it’s like to use this warm, friendly and child-centred building. How well does it work? What were the benefits of building like this, for healthier and more robust buildings? How can we make our buildings more ‘social’? Meet at the main entrance, and find out more from:


1.30-3.00pm: Travel across town to Leith, grabbing lunch on the way, at one end or the other

3.00-4.00pm: Leith Community Croft, Croft Pavilion Renovation and Extension Project and Community Gardens. 4 John’s Place, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 7EL. Find out about all the ambitious community projects being organised by Earth in Common from the Community Croft, like the Croft Carbon College, the Food Hub, and how the newly refurbished and upgraded building will enable this, with Evie Murray CEO of Earth in Common, Jenny Humphreys of Simpson & Brown Architects and more. Jenny will lead tours of limited numbers round the ongoing works, to show how a community group can upgrade an existing building, to try and make it low energy while retaining its character as best possible. How do you get the funds to do this? What is achievable? How do you develop this to work to be friendly and open in a green space in a tough urban situation? Meet opposite the ‘Hingabootery’ inside the Croft gates, off St. John’s Place. Find out more from:


4.00-500pm: go explore the Edinburgh Climate Festival on Leith Links adjacent to the Community Croft. You can register for access here

5.00pm: if you want to meet up with the others form the tour or the Conference, we will proceed to a friendly neighbourhood bar to recover with a soft drink / beer. Venue details tbc. and head home when you are ready.

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee car parking at any site, particularly Astley Ainslie or Leith Links with the Climate Festival. The Astley Ainslie section is a walking tour and may include some uneven surfaces, but generally on roads and paths. The Arcadia Nursery is full accessible and may have limited parking next to it. Access within the site at Leith Croft will require protective equipment (helmets, boots etc.) some of which will be provided, but if you have some and can bring it, please do! The rest of the Croft is accessible but not paved. You will need to provide your own refreshments but there are plenty of place en-route to get these, and some limited drinks and snacks are available from the Leith Croft.

Register here


September 3, 2022
10:00 am - 5:30 pm


Tour start: Astley Ainslie Hospital, North Gate
141 Whitehouse Terrace
Edinburgh, EH9 2EX
+ Google Map


The Scottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA)
View Organiser Website