Both Lesley Riddoch (Perspective, 21 January) and Peter
Murray Spencer (Letters, 22
January) hold out hope for Dundee throwing off its “poor relation” of Scottish cities image and aspiring to greater things.
I share that hope, but it will require far better advice from its planners and braver decision making from its council than has been shown in the past few decades.
There are many fine buildings, old and “modern”, in Dundee but the waterfront resembles a train wreck.
The road bridge itself is embarrassingly crude and unimaginative; at its landfall, the Earl Grey/Hilton hotel, the “government” office blocks at Greenmarket, the Discovery centre (a dome wrapped in cheap curtain glazing), a supermarket, the awful railway station and faux “traditional” pub/hotel – all within a few hundred yards of the city’s “gateway” – compete for worst or least appropriate design. The much-vaunted “finest waterfront site in Europe” has been ruined.
However, cities constantly reinvent themselves. Though the V&A project alone can’t transform Dundee (talk of a “Bilbao effect” is fanciful) the city could yet claim its place in the sun if its planners and councillors demand vision and quality in future.
David Roche (ARIAS)