I've had this idea for a while, and I wish I could get it off the ground but Aberdeen is so damn apathetic you couldn't get anyone to volunteer to make a sandwich.
In Aberdeen in the UK there's an area called Mastrick, and in Mastrick you'll find this: a big patch of nothing. 4 ACRES of nothing, in fact. This wasted piece of land has been empty for OVER 10 YEARS.
There used to be a part of Woodend Hospital here. Since they demolished that, nothing has replaced it. There has been talk of some stores buying it, Asda and so on. All talk. Nothing has happened with this land for over a decade and it's a real shame.
This area is surrounded mostly by low income housing. There are some shops on the left. To the south there's Woodend hospital. And to the right there's an ICE RINK (wtf).
If you work at Woodend Hospital or if you're a student at Hazlehead Academy, you probably walk through this waste ground to get there.
I was looking at this today on the map and I imagined what it would be like if that whole area was a park. Just a park. A park in central Mastrick filled with grasses, trees, flowers, even vegetables, fruit trees, mosses, rocks, benches. Could you imagine? That would flip Mastrick on its head. And I don't mean some skanky typical Aberdeen park, where the council says, "Alright, here's your half acre of grass with a swing set. There's your fucking park, happy?" I mean a real awesome park that stands out and shows off what's possible.
If there's the slimmest chance in the universe of this ever happening, it won't be because Aberdeen City Council did it. Getting them involved would be like trying to wake the dead. I have more hope for getting locals involved, and even that's a long shot.
I expect I can appeal to those with their own gardens, allotment holders, retired people, and any unemployed people who want to get involved. I could appeal to students at the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and the Scottish Agricultural College. It might be worth even appealing to Woodend Hospital. The park would be great for hospital visitors, workers and patients. I could appeal to the local stores.
I don't know about the soil on this land but like I said it's been abandoned for over 10 years and taken over by weeds, which is great. I don't know who owns this land now.
The biggest hurdle I can think of, seriously, is dumb people. Fucking it up for the sake of it.
The other thing I've considered is this: on this land there used to be a hospital. Then they demolished it and left this land for 10 years. What's that about? Is this land toxic? Radioactive? A hellmouth?
I expect I'll return here in a number of years, however, and either find it still vacant, or with a big fat Walmart built there. Or who knows, another ice rink maybe.