Look to Dresden
I agree wholeheartedly with Dennis Grattan (Letters, 7 November) when he says that those who wish to push for the Union Terrace plan to be implemented in Aberdeen should now move on. I am less engaged with his thinking when it comes to Dundee, however.
Mr Grattan feels that Aberdeen lags behind Dundee in terms of the latter’s “tastefully redeveloped… shopping centre”, which he describes as “something to be proud of”.
When Dundee’s Angus Hotel was being demolished, around the turn of this century, I did opine that the city might use its collective noddle and take a leaf from Dresden’s book.
In the early 1960s, Dundee’s very old city centre was demolished.
In its place and, again a decade ago, some modern buildings were built and Dundee has never been the same again. After all, who visits Dundee for its architecture?
Dresden, on the other hand, having been almost entirely destroyed, late in the Second World War by the RAF, has been rebuilt to look exactly the same as it did before the bombing. Naturally, it is filled with tourists.
If Dundee had rebuilt its ancient city centre, people from elsewhere in Britain and Europe might actually go there to look at the city.
Instead, they go to see RRS Discovery and, perhaps some parts of the west end of the city and then leave without spending their money.
Next time Dundee needs to demolish its shopping centre, maybe it could consider Dresden’s example.
Andrew HN Gray
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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