Union Square city centre linkage
04/12/09 10:18 Filed in: Granite Chips
So the £275 million Union Square shopping centre has been open for a month and has already clocked up a million visitors, according to the developers.
My own experience of the place is good, especially since I thought it was the wrong development in the wrong place when first proposed. The multi-storey car park is a delight compared to some of the others in Aberdeen. Big, spacious and it seems to always have plenty of spaces left.
But the big issue with Union Square is still the linkage of the development with the city centre and the other main shopping centres – notably Bon-Accord and St Nicholas.
I simply cannot understand how the Union Square plans were allowed to progress over a period of ten years without any definite plan of how to link it with Union Street and the other shopping centres!
I have heard suggestions that the linkage should be along Denburn at the side of the Trinity Centre car park and up the steep steps beside the former Boots/Virgin store. How inspiring is Denburn to walk along? How likely is it that a party of shoppers, laden down with bags, will want to scale the steps to Union Street?
OK, so where else? Market Street? Quite logical but relatively steep and, at the moment, rather down at heel.
I remember some years ago a monorail was suggested to run in a loop from the Union Square and the station, up Bridge Street and over the heads of pedestrians in Union Street to the upper deck of St Nicholas. It would then go round by Marischal College and the Shiprow and back to the station. All above existing traffic, busy junctions and pedestrians. The idea was ridiculed by many.
But what is really ridiculous is this:
We now have a £275 million shopping centre built in isolation, with no effective linkage to the rest of the city.
What were our civic planners doing over the last ten years?