Imagination event at Union Terrace Gardens hailed as a success

An artistic event at Union Terrace Gardens (UTG) yesterday held to encourage people to imagine what the space could look like has been hailed as a fantastic success.

About 400 people took part in the event, and they had been encouraged to find one of the flags depicting different parts of the Gardens, take it home and think about what how they would like Union Terrace Gardens to be shaped.

It was designed to act as an activation event before the public engagement for the Gardens takes place on 2 December, where the public will be given an opportunity 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: “It was fantastic that people came and took part in the artistic activation event, and were enthusiastic about the Gardens and potential.

“We’re looking forward to the public engagement starting next month and the detailed design proposals for Union Terrace Gardens being drawn up after then.”

Aberdeen City Council Depute Leader Councillor Marie Boulton said: "The activation event provided an opportunity for people to discover and rediscover how inspirational UTG can be.

"It remains the green jewel in our city's heart. It will be tremendously exciting to see what the proposals for enhancing it bring forward given improved activity is a key goal."

The artistic activation event – entitled Mosaic Gardens - was 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.