Aberdeen's regeneration plans and its famous granite architectural heritage were praised earlier this week by President of the Royal Town Planning Institute Colin Haylock, who toured the city centre on foot before spending time with Aberdeen City Council's planning department as it outlined the blueprint for the city's future.
Mr Haylock was joined on his walking tour of the city centre by senior planners, which concluded at the Council's iconic headquarters, Marischal College.
The world's second largest granite building, which was transformed into the Council's headquarters and opened for business last June, received warm praise from Mr Haylock.
He said: \"I was particularly stuck by how sensitively Marischal College has been redeveloped. The Council's main base is a statement of intent about how the city intends to cherish the best of its history whilst embracing new technology and new ways of working.
What is clear from speaking to planners is how the scheme required a lot of partnership working, with developers, with members of the public, with urban designers and architects. It is not easy to redevelop an architectural gem and Aberdeen can be very proud of what has been done with the College.\"
Leader of Aberdeen City Council Councillor Barney Crockett welcomed Mr Haylock to the city and said his visit was testament to the hard work of Council planners. ""It is a tremendous honour to welcome the President of the RTPI to Aberdeen. Marischal College and its granite façade look absolutely spectacular and it's easy to see why it has become a proud focal point for the city.
But our plans for the future of the city don't stop there. Mr Haylock was able to see and hear for himself that Council planners' hard work and efforts continue to make a difference to the lives of people in the city.
\"What is clear from speaking to planners is how the scheme required a lot of partnership working, with developers, with members of the public, with urban designers and architects. It is not easy to redevelop an architectural gem and Aberdeen can be very proud of what has been done with the College.\"
Mr Haylock's visit is a fitting testament to all their hard work and I'm sure both Mr Haylock and our staff will enjoy today's programme of events with both sides absorbing as much information and feedback as possible.\"
Following the walking tour Mr Haylock took part in a series of afternoon presentations from the Council's planning team on a variety of topics, including the Local Development Plan, low carbon developments and eplanning.
Dr Margaret Bochel, Aberdeen City Council's head of planning and sustainable development, said: \"We take great pride in the work being done here in Aberdeen. The visit of the President is testament to the recent achievements that have been made in the city by our planners, not least the adoption of the Local Development Plan.
Today's visit has been a tremendous opportunity to reflect on our achievements as well as looking forward to the future. Mr Haylock has been able to witness firsthand how Aberdeen City Council is investing in the future, both in terms of staff and the city."
Aberdeen's Local Development Plan was the first in Scotland to be adopted under new planning legislation.
The Plan sets out how the city will grow over the next decade, and identifies land for 30,000 new houses and 196 hectares of new business land, signalling to developers that Aberdeen is paving the way for business and providing opportunities for them to make things happen and for the city to thrive
It sets out the Council's priorities for regenerating parts of Aberdeen and for supporting a thriving city centre.
The RTPI President's visit to Aberdeen was organised by RTPI Scotland.