There are just a few days left to submit your views on the future of Aberdeen’s city centre and beach area. The masterplan developers want everyone to outline what’s important – and what’s not – as they shape the future of our city.
You could easily have a pop at those in power over the decades for failure to grasp opportunities or for lacking the vision and commitment to make our city centre a better place.
However, credit where it’s due. Progress is being made and there have been positive signs of a partnership approach paying dividends for local residents, businesses and visitors alike. Just look at investment in The Art Gallery, Broad Street and Marischal Square.
But it’s a tougher job than ever now. Covid has brought about a drastic decline in our economy, with high-profile store closures just the tip of the iceberg. With that has come a sharp realisation that city leaders must listen, respond, and work with others more than ever now to actually get things done. Aberdeen Inspired plays its role in championing the cause of everything local. It’s just received official public backing of its efforts, which means another five-year focus on recovery and developing our city centre to be the best that it can be. That’s good news.
I’d love to be more proud of our city centre. I’d love to see a family-friendly city centre and beach area. I’d love it to be vibrant, varied and appealing, holding up thriving day-time and night-time economies. I’d love to see Union Street revitalised – whether the new Union Terrace Gardens project ticks that box remains to be seen – but at least it’s a tangible sign of commitment to improve.
Let’s see the first floors of Union Street‘s beautiful properties regenerated, revitalised and re-marketed, to allow people to live in these areas; and for us all to be able to walk around a refreshed environment, feeling safe, engaged and part of a reinvigorated city-centre community, both day and night.
We have a chance to leave something behind that we’re proud of. The city council have asked for our input, they have to be accountable in response. So, whether you’ve been a swiper on the sidelines, or a great advocate for change, just have your say. Be part of it. I know I will.