Latest Issue

Architecture: The slow ruin of Edinburgh

The planting of a "Golden Turd" in the heart of the city reveals grotesquely skewed planning priorities

By Owen Hatherley   April 2017

View of Edinburgh's Old Town from Calton Hill ©RobertHarding/Alamy Stock Photo

If you go down to the east end of Princes Street in Edinburgh, and turn left onto Leith Street, you’ll find a very worn 1960s building at the centre of a construction site. The building in question—the St James Centre, a widely disliked shopping and hotel complex—is being gradually demolished in favour of something you can see depicted on the hoardings in front of you: a routine glass and stone-cladding mall, around a new hotel which is wrapped…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect