In our Building and Landscape series we explore the controversy that often surrounds the reuse of old buildings and what goes into projects that look to restore and reinvigorate older forms of architecture. Who decides how the building is reused and what it is reused for? What kinds of decisions are made about how the building is changed? How much input should the general public have when it comes to architecture in their city?

Cityscape was a pioneering series produced by Justin Russell and Francesca Atkinson for Edinburgh Television from 2000. The series set out to contrast planning and conservation with local needs and to open-out the language used to evaluate buildings, their merit and aesthetic.

This short season of clips from our archives addresses some of the many tensions that underlie contemporary architecture, including the reinterpretation of old and redundant buildings.

In our film from 1999 Flesh + Stone the question ‘what is successful architecture?’ is asked of those who live and work with new buildings. What do the residents, visitors and workers like or not like about the buildings built to provide shelter, places of work and recreation?

In Ocean Terminal the developer, councillor and architect outline the role of this large development on Leith’s former dockland. Is its role to bring in visitors from outside and act as a maritime gateway to Edinburgh? Can it attract upmarket customers to its shops and restaurants and generate employment but not undermine Leith’s existing shopping street?

In Leith to Barcelona the question is whether or not there might be a useful comparison between Barcelona’s Las Ramblas link to its port area and Leith Walk, or the Water of Leith Walkway to the sea? In the last decade the opening of Out of the Blue in the Dalmeny Street Drill Hall and pop-up exhibitions and performances organised by Leith Late ( have done much to establish memorable connections between the City and the Shore.

In Rebuilding Scotland the architect Mark Wilson asks why council planners approve rural pastiche, often poorly located one and a half storey stone cottage replicas and reject new work. His plans for low-key housing in rural Perthshire and Scottish Borders establish a new and relatively inexpensive vernacular form.

Edinburgh Architecture Awards 2001. With use of language and aesthetic priorities familiar to architectural discussion Douglas Reid introduces the Adobe building at Edinburgh Park built by Stephen Boyd in 1999 and since occupied by Scottish Equitable.

Social Inclusion explores Richard Holloway’s Lord Provost’s Commission on Social Exclusion, which presented a bold challenge to work together for ‘OneCity’ to tackle social exclusion in the capital. As well as Holloway, Shulah Allan (Edinburgh Voluntary Organisation Council), David Hume (City of Edinburgh Council) and Kaliani Lyle (Citizen’s Advice Scotland) discuss what social exclusion is, the research undertaken for a report like this, and the importance of why a city should tackle an issue such as social exclusion.