Groups look­ing for quick fixes as well as long-term

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS -

As part of the Van­guard ini­tia­tive, a group of vol­un­teers have been work­ing on ideas to find “quick” and “prac­ti­cal” ways to re­gen­er­ate Aberdeen city cen­tre.

Mr Smith said he signed up be­cause he “wanted to make good stuff hap­pen in the re­gion, which without Van­guard would not”.

He said the group he was work­ing with had been fo­cus­ing on “quick wins” which in­cluded con­vert­ing Union Street into a more pedes­trian friendly area.

This, pri­mar­ily would be by cre­at­ing seat­ing ar­eas on pave­ments out­side cafes and restau­rants as well as “parklets”. These are small raised ar­eas like deck­ing which sit on the road them­selves leav­ing the pave­ments clear.

Mr Smith said both Star­bucks and Mucha­cho have ex­pressed a keen­ness to find a way to in­cor­po­rate these at their Aberdeen premises.

He said: “The im­prove­ments to Union Street as set out in the city cen­tre mas­ter­plan won’t hap­pen un­til the im­pact of the AWPR is known, that the sub­stan­tial in­vest­ment re­quired is found, as well as po­lit­i­cal back­ing for the changes – what­ever form that may take at the end of the day.

“This is just our small at­tempt in the mean­time to try and im­prove things now, quickly and cost­ef­fec­tively. It’s noth­ing rev­o­lu­tion­ary, but it might just help to get peo­ple to use Union Street in a dif­fer­ent way.”

Rus­sell Borth­wick, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Aberdeen & Grampian Cham­ber of Com­merce, said: “The pas­sion, pos­i­tiv­ity and en­thu­si­asm that ex­ists for the Aberdeen City Re­gion comes across loud and clear from the Van­guard groups and the project up­dates and new ideas the vol­un­teers bring to the ta­ble are truly en­er­gis­ing. They also con­tinue to demon­strate am­bi­tion in their think­ing and the de­sire to start a con­ver­sa­tion which may, in turn, in­spire oth­ers to get in­volved.”

Seat­ing in Union Street has been sug­gested

Rus­sell Borth­wick of AGCC

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