Aberdeen City Council


Aberdeen is a compact city of approximately 189 sq kilometres.It is flanked by 2 major waterways which cut through the city to the sea –

  1. The River Dee to the south of the city which is a Special Area of Conservation and through a Catchment Management approach is a good example of collaborative working to improve the urban fringes which is influenced by the River Dee.In the city there is excellent access along the River Dee for salmon fishing, walking and recreation. The urban fringe in this area of the city is well used for recreation and is famed for its beauty.


  1. The River Don to the north of the city cuts through areas of industry and some city regeneration areas. There are several areas of cultural and historic importance such as the Brig o Balgownie and designated areas for nature but access is in need of improvement.

Aberdeen is fortunate to have two Universities; the Macaulay Institute; the Scottish Agricultural College; and Aberdeen College in the city.Through past and present collaboration there is a wealth of knowledge for Aberdeen to draw upon.

Through SURF there is an opportunity to bring the community, landowners and stakeholder groups together in order to improve the city's urban fringes. In addition to this, Aberdeen will complete an Open Space Audit providing information for citizens to understand the quality of the city's public and private open spaces.Aberdeen's participation in the SURF Project can bring tools and experiences that can be shared with partners to enhance trans-national learning.

The project aimed to:

Develop and promote new methods for assessing and managing open spaces along the River Don corridor, for the benefit of the local economy, environment and communities. The aim was to bring people and organisations together with information, tools and techniques to develop a more collective approach to the planning and management of open spaces along the River Don corridor.

This was done through:

  • Forming a project stakeholder group to oversee and direct the project.
  • Developing an accessible Geographical Information Sytstem (GIS) tool to assist with spatial planning of open space.
  • Conducting a participative programme of community engagement activities using GIS to improve local decision making.
  • Producing a spatial plan, in collaboration with the local community, to guide development and direct improvements to open space. The River Don Corridor Framework has been approved as Council guidance to support Aberdeen's Local Development Plan.
  • Accessing funding and working with communities to implement several improvements to open spaces in line with the spatial plan.

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