Bright ideas considered for City Centre Masterplan project

"Aberdeen in Colour" survey launched

A public engagement exercise was launched today to help shape plans to permanently showcase Aberdeen's landmarks, civic spaces and streetscape using creative lighting.

"Aberdeen in Colour” could also improve wayfinding, enhance cultural experiences, and make the city even more welcoming.

This City Centre Masterplan project is being brought forward by Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen Inspired, operator of the Business Improvement District.

Award-winning design consultancy Steensen Varming has been appointed to develop the strategy and will base it on six themes:

1. Unique Aberdeen

2. A Welcoming Destination

3. A New City Experience

4. Waterfront Connections

5. Night Time Economy

6. Leadership in Technology and Sustainability

An online survey (see below) presents a range of lighting treatments and asks the public to choose their favourite(s) for each theme. Copies of the survey are available in city libraries and at the Marischal College Customer Service Centre. 

Feedback will be used to help draw up the strategy and an implementation plan, which will go to elected members for consideration early next year.

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s lead on the City Centre, said: “Although this Masterplan project is in the early stages, it is important to get a sense for the approach the public and businesses would like us to take.

“Aberdeen in Colour has the potential to help transform the city centre by raising its profile and boosting the night-time economy – but it must be sympathetic to our unique heritage.

“The annual SPECTRA event has shown us how light can transform the city centre, and Aberdeen in Colour gives us a chance to explore how permanent installations could create a thrilling year-round experience.”

Steensen Varming were appointed to develop the strategy after a competitive tendering process. The award-winning design consultancy was formed in 1933 and has illuminated World Heritage Sites, including Sydney Opera House (below).









A public drop-in event will be held at the Bon Accord Shopping Centre on October 11th from 11am to 7pm. Members of the design team will be available to answer questions and collect comment.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “The benefits of a creative lighting strategy for our city centre will put us to the fore in national terms and will certainly have a positive effect for our local businesses.

“Aberdeen Inspired are committed to ensuring the successful delivery of this aspect of the City Centre Masterplan and we are interested to hear the thoughts of residents.”

The strategy will also consider residential amenity and analyse the effect on the city’s skyline.

The survey, which runs until October 15, can be found here.

* The main image shows Marischal College during the SPECTRA festival.