This weekend sees the opening of the V&A Design Museum in Dundee. It’s an exciting time for the city and it marks the transformation of the city from a post industrial wasteland to a modern hip city that is on the up!
Maybe it’s because I live in Dundee, but I happen to think that it’s a great place to be. Certainly compared to other Scottish cities (Aberdeen to remote and unwelcoming, Glasgow often squalid and much busier, Edinburgh congested, expensive and full of tourists). Dundee treads the fine line between big town and small city, and lacking the critical mass of either people (Glasgow) or jobs (Aberdeen) or both (Edinburgh) it’s not been easy for the city over the years. The hay days of jam, jute and journalism were long ago but there is a new found optimism in the city and signs of jobs coming, people moving into the city and dare I say it, gentrification. The city is certainly in Vogue!
So this weekend the big museum opens at the waterfront. The hope is that this will lead to urban regeneration – providing the opposite of the broken window theory. So, museum along with the new railway station and other developments will kick start the city and improve life here for everyone. It’s been widely reported that it’s been a transformation, many years in the making but now beginning to bear fruit.
When looking at where to live and raise our family, we felt that Dundee was the right place to do it – given the constraints on our lives of work & life. When we moved here in 2016, the city had ludicrously cheap property (price have been pretty much static for 10 years now, unlike elsewhere) and it was very strange that not only is Dundee cheaper than other cities but the price of a property in Dundee DECREASED as you got closer to the city unlike everywhere else.
One of the attractions of Dundee for us is the chance to Geoarbitrage. We might even be part of the wave of gentrification that we see the signs of around us. It’s also a great place to live and raise a family. It has two universities, high tech industries in computer gaming and medical development and it’s also the sunniest city in Scotland and one of the driest! There is a genuine buzz around the city and there are more and more things to do here ranging from a cool Lego exhibition (Brick City) to exhibits at the McManus gallery (see right).
Maybe I’m not impartial but I’ve seen urban regeneration make a big difference to different places. Getting a development like this may not cure all ills and whilst some money being spent on development is welcome, it’s not sufficient especially if there not the jobs to follow up after the white elephant has landed. The hope going forward is that Dundee continues to flourish and the Gentleman’s Family can be part of that, then that’s a great feeling to have. In the meantime, we look forward to looking inside the museum. The Lady (my dear wife) is a bit of a Design expert and there’ll be lots of to interest and inspire us. We can’t wait.