Let's embrace the new city centre plan

The proposal to create a new city centre focus in the centre of Aberdeen is gaining momentum.

After two false starts in the 1980s and at the millennium,
the proposal to create a new public plaza at Union Terrace Gardens is moving back up the agenda.

It was Sir Ian Wood who got the plan back on the agenda, but now it has the backing of Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future. Tom Smith, Chairman of ACSEF says that there are two priorities in pursuit of Aberdeen’s vision to be the established eastern hemisphere energy city mirroring Houston in the USA.

King Edward VII might be on the move. Wouldn’t he be happier in a wider civic space rather than staring at traffic jams?

One is to improve transport links both in the region and also additional direct air links to oil and gas centres around the world.

The second is to enhance the city centre and make it a place that citizens can be proud of and a place that will attract visitors to come and visit.

Denburn dual carriageway
The unsightly railway and road would be replaced by a civic plaza to provide a real focal centre for Aberdeen

Raising Union Terrace Gardens to street level is the modern day equivalent of the vision and forward thinking that, 200 years ago in the era of spades and shovels, produced the grand thoroughfare of Union Street leaping over the Denburn Valley on 30-foot high granite arches.

The new city centre plaza would not only create walkways from Union Terrace to Belmont Street, with open spaces and performance areas, but it would cover over the eyesore of the railway and the Denburn dual carriageway. In its place would be a public plaza opening out from the north side of Union Bridge.

To the east could be shops and cafes at the back of Belmont Street.

Can’t wait to be able to drive into the centre of Aberdeen, park in the underground car park, then walk around the central plaza and enjoy a cafe while admiring the cityscape around Union Terrace and Rosemount Viaduct.

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