Saturday, 10 October 2009
Union Terrace Gardens, Aberdeen
You know, these community meetings are just a gossip shop and a waste of my valuable time. I've spent hours listening to people droning on about dog mess, discarded condoms and broken glass when I could have been watching Strictly Come Dancing. It just reinforced in my mind how great it is when people just do what they want and ignore the babbling pack of idle worthless peasants. Which brings me to a current hero of mine - Sir Ian Wood!
Now Sir Ian used to be my boss years ago in SE and even then I thought he was a mover and shaker - a Puppet Master for the hordes of creeps that inhabit the higher echelons of public service in Scotland. Sir Ian is now a multi-millionaire - maybe more - and while he is not as good looking as the Great Donald Trump, he knows a thing or two about town planning and is a true Renaissance Man for Scotland. It takes one to know one!
So Sir Ian has come up with his own plan to fill in the hole that is known as Union Terrace Gardens in Aberdeen. I remember he wanted to do that years ago so now he has kindly provided a cool £50 million or so to backfill the whole issue thereby putting an end to the ill-informed debate about park or arts centre or whatever. One of the stupid alternative proposals is shown below (notice they show a railway in the foreground - I thought we were trying to get rid of these and replace them with good roads).
So now we can just get on with it. A hole is a hole - simple - fill it in. You would do the same with a hole in the road. You have to admire that no nonsense approach to town planning. I was across in Aberdeen recently and have to agree that Union Terrace Gardens is unsafe, dark, sloping and green - that's my expert analysis from a town planning perspective.
Anyway he hired Halliday Fraser Munro who we know can really bash out a fuss free solution to anything - petrol filling stations, lock-up garages, you name it. What a job they have done - it's clean and flat and simple. Absolutely breathtaking in its bold conception, it's bigger than Trafalgar Square in London or St Mark's in Venice! Yes! Now Aberdeen can be a world city. It's better than wasting your time with community groups!
You see, you can always trust rich people to have the best ideas and to pick the best firms of designers to do their bidding.