Time for co-ordinated approach?

The press recently has been full of all the action plans for improving Aberdeen city centre. While (as long as any development is appropriate and respectful of the city’s traditions) this is welcome, there seems to be a real danger of confusion with all the different initiatives.

We already have ACSEF who kick started the whole debate with their City Square proposal, which has been reborn as City Gardens.

This got off to a less than auspicious start when people assumed (not surprisingly) that the conceptual drawings represented what was being proposed. This was compounded by asking people their view on the proposals, even though there really wasn’t an actual proposal to have an opinion about!

Golden Square car parking
Any concerted moves to review the city centre as a whole and retrieve the likes of Golden Square (above) from the blight of car parking, should be welcomed.

To this we added the Aberdeen City Centre Development Framework and the Aberdeen BID.

Last week another name popped up, courtesy of the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce. Genius Loci, a Latin expression referring to the protective spirit of a place.

The danger here is that we confuse people and lose focus.

Just what is it that we are seeking to achieve?

  • Is it the redevelopment of Union Terrace Gardens? Or the wider regeneration of the city centre?
  • Who is actually driving this process? Is it ACSEF? Is it Aberdeen City Council? Is it Aberdeen BID? Is it Genius Loci?

Maybe we need to stop and think about presenting a clearer structure and clearer vision.
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