Public asked to contribute to plans to redesign Aberdeen city centre

The public have been given the chance to weigh in on plans that would literally turn a spotlight on Aberdeen city centre.

The drop-in sessions are part of the City Centre Masterplan project Aberdeen in Colour, which could see landmarks, civic spaces and streets illuminated with creative lighting.

The public’s views would then go towards drawing up a strategy for where and when places should be lit up.

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Design team representatives from top engineering firm Steensen Varming attended the drop-in at Bon Accord Shopping Centre yesterday in order to answer questions and collect comments.

The firm was appointed to develop the lighting strategy and will base it on six themes, including waterfront connections and night-time economy.

A public survey, which closes on Sunday, has been launched to help inform the strategy and implementation plan, which will go to Aberdeen City Council for consideration early next year.

Sara Stroud, 42, was passing through the Bon Accord Centre and was impressed with the plans.

She said: “It’s exciting – I’m glad that we’re starting to embrace outdoor spaces rather than shopping centres and I’m also pleased they’re working towards better urban cycle paths.”

Deidre O’Donnell, 45, also stopped by the drop-in and said: “I welcome anything that livens up the city centre and engages both visitors and residents alike.”

Senior lighting designer at Steensen Varming Linda Salamoun said the company welcomed the public’s response.

She said: “The feedback has been that people are happy to see the implementations in general, but it changes with the demographics.

“Some people want more interactive things and we’ve also had a session with people with disabilities, and it came up a lot that they just want more safety throughout the streets.

“What we’re trying to explain here is that by activating the different areas you can make spaces feel safer, but rather than make it a thoroughfare, get people to actually use the space and open up the city.”

She added: “There’s some beautiful locations in Aberdeen, we’re excited by the tiny lanes and areas that at the moment may be slightly forgotten, but by lighting them up there’s a lot more space that can be inspiring in the city.”

Copies of the survey are available in city libraries, Marischal College Service Centre, and online at: http://bit.ly/2y8qpET

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