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The People's Hill

Part 2 Project 2015
Jamie Anderson
Newcastle University, UK
In the wake of the independence referendum, Scotland has become one of the most politically charged nations on the democratic map. While much attention has been given to the rise of ‘the 45%’ of Yes voters, this thesis argues that perhaps the more significant statistic is 84.6% - the highest voter turnout in any election or referendum since universal suffrage began.

In order to maintain a high level of political engagement, the thesis looks to draw upon Edinburgh’s self-proclaimed sobriquet as the ‘Athens of the North’ to propose a new space for public deliberation based on the often idealised model of Ancient Athenian democracy.

The thesis begins as a comparative analysis between Calton Hill in Edinburgh and the Acropolis in Athens. With a clear architectural affinity between the two sites there becomes a more interesting assimilation in the way that ‘The People’s Hill’ and the ‘Cradle of Democracy’ have throughout history been appropriated for communal, and often radical, political activity.

Underpinning the 12 columns of Edinburgh’s unfinished Parthenon; the proposal creates a space for unfiltered knowledge acquisition and public deliberation on political issues, maintaining an informed and engaged electorate and providing a space for the 15.4% - the undecided.

Jamie Anderson


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