Imagination event at Union Terrace Gardens as part of the park’s transformation

The journey towards the transformation of Union Terrace Gardens is to kick off with an artistic activation event next week to encourage people to imagine what the space could look like.

A total of 200 flags carrying an emblem of Union Terrace Gardens are to be placed in the park on Saturday 19 November from 8.30am to 2.30pm and people will be encouraged to find one, take it home and think about what they would like there, before the public engagement takes place next month.

People will be given an opportunity at the public engagement event to study proposals for the site, ask questions and put their views across. UTG is one of the 50 City Centre Masterplan projects designed to transform the city.

Aberdeen City Council Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “”Union Terrace Gardens is a beautiful green space and the work as part of the City Centre Masterplan will enhance it.

“I’d encourage people to take part in the activation event which may help them discover UTG for the first time, or perhaps rediscover this green oasis in the centre of our beautiful city.

“This is the chance for everyone to imagine what UTG could look like and what could be in the space, before the public engagement starts on December 2.”

The artistic activation event – entitled Mosaic Gardens - is being organised by Glasgow-based studio NADFLY on behalf of LDA Design the leading planning consultancy firm which is drawing up detailed design proposals for UTG.

LDA Design has delivered more than 50 Heritage Lottery Funded park restoration schemes, and new parks nationally and internationally, including the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London and Gorky Park in Moscow.

The consultancy has received 90 awards for contemporary and historic parkland design, urban renewal and historic town centre improvements.

The City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) envisages a number of ways in which Union Terrace Gardens might be enhanced – for example, the provision of a multi-purpose events space to allow year-round events and investigating using the historic arches for retail, food and drink, and artists’ studios. Better access could involve the provision of lifts, ramps and new stairs.

The public engagement exercise next month will be gathering feedback on proposals, and detailed plans are scheduled to go before the Council for consideration in early 2017. If approved by Council, work on the one to two-year refurbishment would start that autumn.

LDA Design said UTG could potentially have many new uses such as an activity area for children, a horticultural hotspot, or a cultural hub featuring creative workspaces, artists in residence, open air exhibitions and performances.