Dundee is one of the great examples of urban regeneration in Scotland and is increasing held up not merely as a model of what to do but how to do it. As a councillor with an interest in planning and now an planner, I've been tracking the changes but hadn't taken myself for a tour - until my birthday on Sunday.
There are no quick fixes in Dundee - no single project - but a complete approach to city planning and revitalising a city whose tendrils extend beyond urban design to facilitating business growth including spin offs from the universities.
Of course, nothing is perfect and there are controversies and difficulties but what has been achieved and what is being achieved is a superb demonstration of how a city can change.
|Before redevelopment. |
Concrete, roads and pedestrians not welcome here
The dominant features were the roads - the Tay Road Bridge and the roads that served it. And a rather ugly tower block. And if you crossed the roads - well no-one would have called the hotel and swimming pool complex architectual delights and they each blocked off the waterfront.
|Overview of new Central Waterfront|
The new openspace will run from the Tay to the back of the Caird Hall and the new V&A museum and new railway station are strong architectural statements to the east of this sector.
|Main route continuing from Castle Street to the Tay |
(east side of new open space)
|New housing at the Quays helps bring |
vitality to the waterfront and city centre
Good things have been delivered in the Quays area to the east of the Road Bridge. Great things are promised for the central waterfront area. On her last visit, my mother was impressed at the changes she saw: I'm looking forward to seeing how Dundee changes next.
Let's all hope that Vitruvius' three principle of design hold firm: firmitas (strength), utilitas (functionality), and venustas (beauty).
Let's build a better future.