Thursday, August 15, 2013

'Discovery Walk' Proposal

I was recently contacted by local resident Kelly Marr who has made what is, in my view, an excellent proposal for Dundee Waterfront.

To quote Kelly:

"My suggestion for the development of Dundee’s Waterfront is a sequence of manhole covers that can be referred to as “Discovery Walk”, similar to the “Writers' Walk” in Sydney’s Circular Quay.

The main difference with Discovery Walk is that rather than focusing on writers, it would be acknowledging famous Dundonians and Dundee’s contributions in the Arts, Sciences, Literature, Politics, and so forth. Obvious suggestions could be Brian Cox, Admiral Duncan, and Mary Slessor.

While I am by no means technically minded, my understanding is that it is also possible to have microchips in or near the manhole covers that allow for one to download an App, giving them more detailed information on the person as they walk over the manhole cover. 

From a planning point of view, it is simply a case of having a lengthy series of standard manhole covers that one by one will be replaced with personalised dedications, which means that it does not require that costly process of digging up pavements when an addition is made.

As an Australian who has lived in Dundee for 17 years, I often find the Dundee sometimes fails to publicly acknowledge the vast contributions that the city has made, and feel that Discovery Walk would go a long way to remedying this."

Having visited Sydney's 'Writers' Walk", I am very impressed with this idea for our city along the lines Kelly suggests - a photo of a plaque from Sydney is pictured (above right).   Kelly and I have met with the City Council's Public Art Officer, who is supportive of the idea.

Kelly has now arranged a meeting at the University of Dundee with a number of stakeholders.   This will take place next month and if any resident is interested in attending, or has any views about this proposal, please contact me at