29 Jun Councillors agree Aberdeen city centre masterplan
Aberdeen councillors have agreed a masterplan for the city centre.
It is hoped the regeneration – including the partial pedestrianisation of Union Street – could create 5,500 jobs and an extra £280m in income a year.
Dozens of projects have been put forward by architects BDP after a public consultation.
Council leader Jenny Laing told Wednesday’s meeting it was a “once in a generation opportunity”.
A delegation of leading city figures started the meeting by offering support to the masterplan, with Prof Ferdinand von Prondzynski of Robert Gordon University saying it was time for action after a “number of false starts”.
Francis Glare, of BDP, told councillors that all city centres were responding to the challenges of competing for investment.
He said Aberdeen needed a city centre for a “global city”.
Mr Glare said 85% of respondents wanted more space for people in Aberdeen city centre.
He said that Union Street could become “elegant” and attract new business.
And Mr Glare stressed the “spectacle” of the working Aberdeen harbour should be opened up, describing it as “relatively unique” compared to some other cities, and a “very attractive feature”.
Councillor Alan Donnelly expressed fears that pedestrianisation could be “challenging” due to the significant amount of displaced traffic.
Councillor Marie Boulton said it was a “momentous day for Aberdeen”, and that it had been made clear to BDP that the council did not want another plan to “sit on the shelf”.
Councillor Ross Thomson said he took heart from the “political unity”, and that it was time to repair the city’s “broken heart”.
Councillors had agreed not to comment on the plans before the meeting.