Dundee needs to take advantage of its compact nature and thrive in a new “20-minute neighbourhood” ideal, according to a local lobby group.
Dundee Civic Trust says the city can lead the way in saving district high streets and tackling pollution as experts predict profound permanent lifestyle changes due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In its new paper, Dundee: Vision for 2040, the trust urges city leaders to shun out-of-town developments.
Chairman Donald Gordon said: “Dundee should maintain the current population of the built-up area of the city.
“It should retain its compact built form, resisting urban sprawl by developing its many brownﬁeld sites and its distinctive local communities.”
Mr Gordon said the so-called 20-minute city should be a key objective. That’s a place where homes are within 20 minutes of work, school, shopping, parks, open spaces, and areas for play on foot, bike, or public transport.
“It should be a city where diﬀerent communities are connected to each other via a network of pedestrian links, cycle routes, digital hubs as well as roads,” he said.
“Such an approach could boost the health and wellbeing of all our communities, especially those of the city’s most deprived areas.”
Mr Gordon also said more should be done to protect Dundee’s district shopping centres in the Hilltown, Lochee, Perth Road, Albert Street in Stobswell, and Broughty Ferry, as well as smaller centres such as in Ardler.
The report highlights the Crescent in Whitfield as an example where core community facilities have been strengthened.
The document will be sent to local MPs, MSPs, councillors and civic, business and educational leaders next week.
Other measures it recommends include repopulating the city centre and improving housing there.
This will, in turn, create demand to support shops and services, it claims.
The paper says sites should be identified for a range and mix of quality housing, including social housing, including existing sites within the Central Waterfront, Seabraes, and Blackness.
Mr Gordon suggested a wholesale review of the planning strategy for the eastern city centre could highlight further opportunities, particularly in the Wellgate, Trades Lane and East Dock Street areas.
“These areas are all within walking distance of the central core,” he said.
“Dundee is a city of many assets, not least of which is its diverse, creative and resilient population.
“Our vision for the future of the city aims to build on the city’s existing strong communities, strengthening the connections between them and responding to their needs.”