Dave and Sam

Streetwise seagulls help youngsters get involved in city centre placemaking

Children and young people are to receive encouragement to get involved in shaping Aberdeen’s city centre and beachfront masterplan from an unusual source – a pair of animated seagulls, Dave and Sam. 

The savvy seagulls, not to be confused with sixties ‘Soul Man’ songsters Sam and Dave, are the brainchild of Aberdeen pupils already involved in placemaking discussions on the projects with Aberdeen City Council’s Creative Learning team.

Originally designed as comic books by pupils and now voiced by local children in animated cartoons, the feathered friends aim to inspire young people to come forward with their ideas for what they’d like to see included in the overarching project plans for transforming the city.

The council’s Finance and Resources convener, Councillor Alex McLellan, said: “ “It is essential that we engage with our children and young people on the key themes and elements of the City Centre and Beach Masterplan in a way that they can understand and that captures their imaginations.

“From the outset of the masterplan, we made sure that, in line with our commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, our children and young people’s views were actively sought and considered. What better way to achieve this than by engaging the creative talents of the young people themselves?”

Education and Children’s Services convener, Councillor Martin Greig, said: “Our Creative Learning team and the pupils involved in creating Dave and Sam have done a fine job in devising imagery and messages that will engage and inspire young minds.

“I look forward to seeing and hearing the animated films soon.”

The animations will be launched over the following weeks, alongside a guide for teachers and parents which will include links to how the work also helps to support elements of the Curriculum for Excellence.

Dave and Sam formed just part of the update report on the City Centre Streetscape discussed at today’s full council meeting at which recommendations were approved for the design and installation of streetscaping improvements on Union Street East, Castlegate, Union Street West, West End and Market Street including cycle lanes, greenery, upgraded lighting, street furniture and new public transport links.

Councillors also approved a preferred cycle route linking Market Street to Guild Street and this and the streetscaping improvement recommendations will be referred to the capital planning and budget process for future years’ delivery.

Pending the outcomes of the budget process the Chief Officer for Capital has been instructed to monitor and report progress to the Finance and Resources Committee while his counterpart for Strategic Place Planning is instructed to formally approach potential partners for future year’s capital funding contributions for active travel streetscape projects.  

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