April 1, 2015 - February 1, 2016

The Causey

City of Edinburgh
Recreation & Active Travel
CSGN Development Fund
Lead Partners:
Causey Development Trust


The Causey is a public space that links Chapel Street with Crosscauseway, South of Edinburgh’s city centre. In 2007, it was temporarily transformed from a traffic island into a ‘tropical island’ by the Causey Development Trust. In April 2015, the Causey Development Trust was awarded £18,838 by the CSGN Development Fund to make these changes permanent, turning the busy traffic island into a vibrant place for people, rooted in community and history.

Project background

The Causey Development Trust (CDT) was set up in 2007 to bring together locals, professionals and partner organisations with the aim of finding a future for the area that was car-free and people-centered. In 2007, CDT temporarily transformed The Causey into a ‘tropical island’. Since 2007, the CDT have collected ideas through community workshops and public consultations to come up with a permanent design proposal for The Causey. Following consultations with Sustrans Scotland, Edinburgh World Heritage, The City of Edinburgh Council, the University of Edinburgh, The Mickel Fund and landscape architects Ironside Farrar, CDT exhibited their design proposals for The Causey in March 2015.

CDT’s proposal aimed to enhance the biodiversity and character of the area by introducing additional trees to The Causey, as well as maintaining existing trees in the adjacent historic graveyard. It was felt that these improvements would add to the historic character of the area while also increasing green active travel. The resulting green public space would benefit local people, visitors and wildlife and act as an exemplar for transforming public spaces in other areas.

How the project was delivered

A preliminary study of the graveyard was carried out to establish the potential for planting more trees within the graveyard. The scope was limited so it was decided to look at the feasibility of planting trees within the area at the front of the Buccleuch and Greyfriars Church which also faces The Causey.

Six trees were supplied and retained in a nursery where they can be maintained before being planted in containers on site.

Project outcomes

The six new trees that were provided by the CSGN Development Fund will make for a greener Causey that will attract walkers and cyclists and provide a more pleasant meeting place for people who want to linger and enjoy their city. The project also provides an example for transforming other public areas into green public spaces.

CSGN Support and Learning

The CSGN Development Fund allowed the Causey Development Trust to reinforce the green network within Edinburgh by adding the existing green public spaces such as Holyrood Park and The Meadows. The project also encourages green active travel as it provides commuters in the South side of Edinburgh with a greener environment that promotes walking and cycling.

Future development of project

The Causey Development Trust continues to work at a grassroots level to transform The Causey into an inspiring and distinctive landmark. They are now working to repave the street surface with traditional basalt setts, improve cycle routes, integrate artistic features, and create a stronger connection between The Causey and the churches to construct a more accessible and welcoming space.

Funding Details:

Year Fund Value
2015 CSGN Development Fund 18,838