V&A Dundee: Urban Regeneration in action

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!

Dundee pic

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.

Dundee dusk

mcmanus_1One 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.





7 thoughts on “V&A Dundee: Urban Regeneration in action

  1. I’ve lived in Edinburgh and Glasgow (both fine places) and I have always liked Dundee. Even before the Discovery Quay days, which always seemed to me to be the first step in the regeneration. A number of software companies have been there for a while and there’s been a bit of a buzz around the medical and research areas for a long time. Yes, Dundee has been down at heel for a while, but I think it’s fair to say those days are over. Let’s just hope it doesn’t go too far – as Edinburgh is doing! Inverness and Stirling are good models.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ll know that Dundee is central to so many excellent places for family outings. St Andrews and The East Neuk of Fife to the South and the likes of St Cyrus, Lunan Bay, Glamis etc to the North. The Grampians are virtually on your doorstep. And the maritime museum in Aberdeen is well worth a visit, along with a stroll around the port area to see all the offshore support vessels. Then, if you venture further up the coast, you have the Lighthouse Museum at Fraserburgh and the amazing wee cliffside towns at Gardenstown/Pennan etc. If you get that far, you might as well keep going to Ullapool and before you know it, you’ll be in Sutherland/Caithness/Wester Ross – more beaches and mountains! There, that’s your next holiday sorted 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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