Edinburgh is Scotland's capital city and is home to around 450,000 people. Unlike most major cities in the UK, most of Edinburgh's central areas escaped widespread demolition and rebuilding during the post war period and in 1995, Edinburgh's Old and New Town's were recognised by UNESCO as an official World Heritage site. This often negates planning permission applications to build within 2 miles of the city centre.
Scotland's capital was one of the first cities in the world to embrace high rise living. Up until the 18th century, city planners were reluctant to build outside the perimeter walls and focused instead on building tenements up to 12 storeys high in what is now known as the Old Town. Many of these buildings were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1824 that ravaged the inner city.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, the city expanded north and west with the construction of the New Town, which remains largely unchanged to this day.
Between World War I and World War 2, Edinburgh spread out farther with the construction of enormous housing estates, under the Liberal Government's 'Homes For Heroes' initiative. Although untouched by German bombs in WW2, the construction of housing estates increased due to the deteriorating conditions in central working class communities such as Dumbiedykes. This slum clearance programme lasted until the 1970s.
Regeneration of Edinburgh's most troubled estates commenced in the late 1980s, as areas such as Niddrie and Wester Hailes fell into decline. More than 70 tower blocks were constructed in the city during the 1960s and 1970s, of which the majority have been demolished, with more to follow over the next few years.
The city is currently one of the fastest growing areas in the UK in terms of population with the private housing market booming and council houses in the more central areas mostly bought under the Conservative's Right To Buy scheme. Much of the remaining council housing stock has been or will be upgraded over the next few years with the rest being demolished to be replaced by a mixture of private and mixed tenure estates,