Finally, after no less than six months, an announcement has been made by our friends at ACSEF about the almost-mythical public consultation into Sir Ian Wood's vainglorious plans for Aberdeen City Centre. The announcement has also come with a bonus prize of a branded identity package for the project which is imaginatively titled the "City Square Project." This package includes a logo, a website, some basic clipart and a catchy tagline: "This Time. This Place. This Generation." Which is an interesting slogan for a project which "is for the generation that will come after us." The website itself contains just more of the same promises to "create a vibrant, accessible, safe and connected public space" which have been being touted for the last six months without any proof or hard evidence over exactly how six acres of concrete will achieve safety and vibrancy.
The new wave of stunted PR also includes a new image of "what the square could look like" which is basically just a re-render of the old image of "what the square could look like." As well as still showing pictues of tall healthy mature trees, (even though "The new park due to its deck
construction may not be able to support the same size of tree as is presently
on the site." (Page 65)), is at odds with earlier reports that ACSEF would "work closely with Peacock Visual Arts and the SAC over the next month to see if there was a way to resolve the issue and allow both developments to go ahead."
Last month, even though Public consultation was supposed to be launched in early November, ACSEF announced that it "was postponing its consultation on the square...until the new year" in the light of the Scottish Arts Council extending the funding deadline until March 2010 with the understanding that this extra time would be used to investigate the possibilities of a compromise option which could retain the Gardens andoriginal Arts Centre design while still achieving ACSEF's aims for the square: "to see if it is possible to incorporate Peacock's design requirements and ACSEF's proposals into one scheme" . It was understood that Brisac Gonzales would work closely with Halliday Fraser Munro to this end. Ian Munro, C0-Director of SAC was quick to point out that “our joint board supported this project based on the original plans and designs in Union Terrace Gardens and the commitment is not automatically transferable to another project.”