Gothenburg architect to outline way forward for Aberdeen regeneration
One of Europe’s leading architects is set to outline where Aberdeen can learn from Gothenburg and other leading destinations in delivering city centre regeneration projects which transform both the economy and environment.
Bjorn Siesjo, a City Architect from Sweden’s second largest city, is visiting the Granite City for the first time to present the first in a series of ‘City Talks’ as part of the Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan project and will address an invited audience of business leaders and stakeholders in the Cowdray Hall today.
Bjorn will detail his experience of developing a vision for the regeneration of Gothenburg, a historic port city with a long background of trading and a more recent history of engineering success built around Volvo, which is headquartered there.
He will focus on the successful ‘River City Vision’ for Gothenburg, which addressed a number of themes to transform an area which has forged a lasting bond with Aberdonians since the historic Cup Winners Cup win over Real Madrid in 1983.
His speech will detail the way in which those behind the project:
Highlighted the importance of vision and strategy and engaged the public an politicians in the process;
Created a more diverse economy (moving away from reliance on Volvo);
Created a public realm to support year-round activity (Gothenburg is on similar latitude to Aberdeen);
Highlighted the importance of plan-led development;
Made more of Gothenburg’s water – for example the docks moving downstream as a result of containerisation, but there are still many ferry docks etc. in the city centre
Mr Siesjo will also tour the city centre to gain a deeper understanding of the issues facing Aberdeen in developing a project which aims to secure the long-term future of one of the UK’s leading business destinations.
Deputy Council leader Marie Boulton, who chairs the cross-party City Centre Regeneration Working Group, said Mr Siesjo’s presentation was both significant and relevant in the longer-term thinking for the city.
“Bjorn Siesjo has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share about the regeneration of an important port city. The opportunity to learn from him about the approach taken in Gothenburg is exciting and to be welcomed.
“When we started this process, we made it clear that we had no preconceived ideas as to what shape the Masterplan would take and that we wanted the people of Aberdeen to help us shape it by telling us what they wanted to see in the city centre.
“Aberdeen’s relationship with Gothenburg is already very strong and as we set about Shaping Aberdeen for the future we want to ensure we have gathered relevant information not only locally, but also from cities which have changed for the better. Gothenburg is firmly in that category.”
Bjorn Siesjo has been a City Architect in Gothenburg since 2012, having previously been the CEO and owner of KANOZI architects between 2001 and 2011. He studied Architecture at Chalmers University of Technology between 1985 and 1992.