Aberdeen Harbour is the oldest existing business in the UK, with a deep and fascinating history stretching back over a thousand years. Yet to local people the area is nothing more than a vast and desolate wasteland, an area of the city centre to be avoided at all costs. In a future, post-oil era, it is essential that the harbour can adapt in order to survive, and this project aims to demonstrate a possible future for the area, with an emphasis on transport links, sustainability, new industries and a diverse range of uses.
At present the waterfront is completely closed off to the public, and our proposal centres upon reopening the north side of the harbour to the public, creating a densely packed and pedestrianised hard edge, served from the north with new industry, housing and community spaces.
The first sustainable step is lowering the area’s carbon footprint through renewable energy solutions and recycling. These range from a small scale with photovoltaics on every South, East and West facing roof, up to masterplan wide with an extensive recycling program that converts waste to energy. At the waterfront, a series of ocean source heat pumps, with a central control station floating in the harbour, further contributes to the district’s heating and cooling needs.
Additionally, a public transport network, cycle lane network and pedestrianised waterfront mean that cars need rarely be used for getting around the area.
The second point is that of biodiversity and furthering Aberdeen’s credentials as a green city. The introduction of green space was done through ground allotments, parks and green roofs, either with terraces, further allotments or wildflower “carpets” that allow insects to thrive in the area.