Kim, Rosa, Srujin and Emilia (P6) share their experience in the Regenerate Aberdeen project.
The Regeneration Project involved schools looking at Union Street and thinking carefully about how it evolved over the years and how we as the future generation can try again to make it vibrant and attractive again. The man in charge of helping us think about this is Mr Paterson. The first thing Mr Paterson did was invite us out on a learning walk to explore the heart of Aberdeen.
Firstly we went to Peacocks Close which was 2.3 metres wide. By today’s standards, this would be a normal width for a pavement but not a road. Weirdly enough in days gone by this was a road - people actually had to drive their horse and cart through the 2.3 metre long road. Once we saw this we went to look at the old water fountain in central Union Street. Next we saw the old buildings and compared them to our buildings now. Fun fact: Union street used to be on a hill! The last item we focused on was the old bridge that was there before Union Bridge. The bridge used to be a burn with a tiny bridge going over the burn. Wisely as years went on, they decided that they would build a huge bridge so you would be able to cross from one side of Union Street to another. This impressive bridge took 4 years to build. Everyone had great fun on this trip and we learned a lot about the importance of Union Street and how much of a focal point it once was.
After our Union Street trip we recorded our findings. We discussed Shop Fronts, deciding how we could improve them and make them attractive.
An Architect came to school to explain what the Council and Mr. Paterson were expecting from our designs. At this point most of us decided to make models of new shops using boxes. We first planned out our design, logo, shopfront, lighting etc. When we went home we got out our old boxes or shoe boxes and designed our shopfront using all sorts of things such as paints, pens and pictures. Some of us had very imaginative ideas such as cafes, and printed all sorts of different things from businesses cards to leaflets. We took the opportunity we got and the chance to let our imaginations run wild. Everyone’s shops were amazing but the planning that went into it was giant.
To celebrate the end of the Project all the schools involved were invited to the Tivoli Theatre. We listened to a representative from Aberdeen City Council and she told us how good our project was. Another school made a presentation about all the things they learnt at the walk, the library and from the architect.
Our work is currently on display from 5-9 of December in the Arts Centre for the public to see.
We really enjoyed the project and hope it makes a difference to Aberdeen’s future.