City Centre Masterplan - when and how will it happen?

So, three years after they killed off the City Garden Project – saying that they would bring forward something better – Aberdeen City Council are today discussing the Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan.

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Marischal Square: is it just a money raiser?

So Marischal Square is now just a project we have to accept to raise money for the city. That appears to be the message from reports of yesterday’s budget meeting at Aberdeen Town House.

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Marischal Square: could we have done better?

Having seen an exciting, transformational city centre project moved from the action list to the waste bin, those with an interest in the future of Aberdeen have been looking for a new project to excite their sense of civic pride.

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The latest idea: revive Peacock project!

So, suddenly, the Peacock Arts Centre project for Union Terrace Gardens is back on the agenda. Not because Peacock are keen to revive it? Not because the public have demanded it? Not because the finance is in place?

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St Nicholas House plans fail to excite

When the City Garden project was shelved by the current administration at Aberdeen City Council, we were urged to shift our focus to the exciting prospect of creating a new civic square in front of Marischal College.

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Aberdeen needs a plan and planning

The new administration at Aberdeen City Council have come under some pressure – not least from this blog – to come forward with their plan for the regeneration of Aberdeen city centre, following their controversial voting down of the City Garden Plan, which had been backed by the majority of Aberdonians in the earlier referendum.

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The mandate for ditching gardens

Fast forward to 2014. In the Scottish Independence referendum the majority of people vote “no”.

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What now for Aberdeen city centre?

Unless you have been taking a spin in Curiosity on the surface of Mars, if you have any interest in Aberdeen you will know that Aberdeen’s councillors have voted not to proceed with the Aberdeen City Gardens Project and the £182 million package of city centre funding that went with it.

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What was the point of the referendum?

So we had a referendum so that the electorate could decide whether Aberdeen should go ahead with the City Garden Granite Web plan and the other elements in the funding package, or abandon the plan and stick with the existing Union Terrace Gardens.

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Sour grapes leave a bad taste

So we had the referendum that was intended to decide once and for all whether Aberdeen should go ahead with the City Garden project. The result was a majority of more than 4,000 votes in favour of the new city centre park.
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City Garden is 'all or nothing' vote on city centre investment

I should probably not be surprised, given the amount of confusion and misinformation that has surrounded the argument about the City Garden project. But, I am now amazed to find that the ‘referendum on the gardens’ is not just a ‘referendum on the gardens’.

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City Garden could create 6,500 new jobs

The Aberdeen City Garden Project could create 6,500 new jobs and inject £122 million annually into the local economy according to a new report by PwC.

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Run down Aberdeen

An interesting and thought-provoking video that shows the other side of Aberdeen, behind the facade of the prosperous global oil and gas centre. It looks at the state of the city’s fabric and takes an arguably overly-bleak view of the city’s future prospects. Read More...
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'City shopping footfall nosedives'

Today’s Press and Journal reports that the number of people visiting shopping areas in Scotland has nose-dived in the past year with a 9% drop in footfall. This comes as no surprise, but there is no pleasure in pointing out that this concern has been a recurring theme in this blog over the years.

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City Garden designs go on display

The six short-listed designs for the City Garden project in Aberdeen have gone on show today at the city’s Academy Shopping Centre.

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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.

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Action on city centre? Or just another mountain of paper?

Ask visitors to Aberdeen what they think of the city centre and many will be complimentary – especially if their visit has been graced by sunshine that makes the granite sparkle, rather than matching the grey of the skies on a bad day.

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How to kill Aberdeen city centre trade

So, one of the possible revenue-raising measure proposed by Aberdeen City Council as part of its budget proposals is city centre road tolls (or ‘congestion charges’ as they are euphemistically called).

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Aberdeen second in UK for quality of life

Aberdeen has been ranked second in the UK only to London, for its quality of life. The survey ranks Aberdeen higher than international cities like Rome, Houston, Hong Kong and Dubai.

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City Square consultation "flaw"

A recently-issued briefing paper for the City Square proposal admits to a “fundamental flaw” in the consultation process for the City Square project.

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Students have designs on City Square

A group of architectural students at the Robert Gordon University, have produced a series of designs which they believe shows the true potential of City Square.

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City Square project an opportunity for future

The City Square proposal has been described, with some justification, as the most ambitious project for Aberdeen since the vision in 1799 to bridge the Denburn Valley with the viaduct that we now know as Union Street.

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Licensing board councillor is right

There would be few who would disagree with Councillor Bill Cormie when he calls for a radical solution to the alcohol fuelled antisocial behaviour in the city centre.

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