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Aberdeen City Centre Development Framework

Walking the Mat
Aberdonians fondly reminisce of 'walking the mat' on the main avenue, Union Street. It is only about a mile in length, and on a Saturday night, all the young lads and lassies would put on their 'finery', and stroll its length socialising and 'chatting each other up.' Even young people from the surrounding areas would catch a bus into Aberdeen, to 'walk the mat'. It was a happy and cheerful way to meet people, and the tradition was known to be responsible for a large number of marriages in the town, and the surrounding areas as well!

Successful places have distinct identity. The Scottish Government's "Designing Places - A Policy Statement for Scotland" sets the national policy context for creating places. The Policy states that successful places are safe, pleasant, easy to move around and welcoming to visitors. Successful places are sustainable and adaptable to changing circumstances in social, economic and environmental conditions, in other words dynamic.

Regional and local planning policy highlights the importance of Aberdeen City Centre being a successful place. The Aberdeen City and Shire Structure Plan (2009) sets an ambitious vision for a successful and sustainable future for the north east. It specifically recognises the importance of the completion of a city centre masterplan, which includes proposals to make part of Union Street an area for pedestrians only, to help achieve that vision.

The Aberdeen Local Development Plan - Proposed Plan sets out how the Council will implement the Structure Plan. It recognises that access to an attractive and vibrant city centre is vital to achieving a sustainable economic future for the city and region. It refers to the emerging City Centre Development Framework's role in setting out the development principles to guide and co-ordinate development and infrastructure investment in the city centre, identifying key projects and opportunities needed to achieve the vision and setting a programme to monitor the delivery of agreed priorities in the city centre.

Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future's Economic Manifesto, and Action Plan states that the City Centre must act as a key business location, retail centre, major tourist destination, historical and cultural centre, leisure and entertainment centre, key transport node, and a place where people live and feel safe. 

Aberdeen City Centre Development Framework

The City Centre Development Framework promotes a strategy to complement and enhance the features if the City Centre that make Aberdeen unique. The Development Framework identifies 9 character areas and urban quarters focussed on Union Street as the spine of the City Centre.

The Development Framework was agreed by the Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure Committee and will remain as a live document to be underpinned by an action and delivery programme. The Framework itself will be reviewed as part of the ongoing local development plan process.


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