Urban planning is like "real-life SimCity" to the man who is spearheading Dundee’s waterfront development
Like so many students in Dundee, Mike Galloway immediately left town after earning his degree from Dundee University. His next 18 years as an urban planner included various stints in Glasgow, London and Manchester before eventually returning to Dundee, where he is now working to create a community that will encourage more of today’s graduates to stay put.
Homes for young professionals are currently among the top priorities for Mike, who has been spearheading Dundee’s massive £1 billion waterfront redevelopment since its inception in 1997. With anchor projects such as the V&A design museum and a new railway station now coming out of the ground, he wants to channel further investment into offices, creative space, hotels and housing.
"We need flats for young professionals filling the growing number and variety of jobs available, so they don’t feel they have to leave to pursue their career or have the lifestyle they desire," he says.
"I got all of that out of my system, but I would like to make the decision easier for today’s graduates to either come back or even stay in Dundee."
Raised in Glasgow’s east end, his family later moved to Perth, he says he had no particular ambitions at school, but was eventually drawn to town planning because it’s like "real-life SimCity".
Ironically, he prefers the series to Minecraft, whose local connections include Dundee tech entrepreneur Chris van der Kuyl’s 4J Studios, which worked on console editions of the outrageously popular 3D cuboid game. Last year, 4J Studios also released a Minecraft version of what Dundee’s waterfront will look like when the regeneration project is complete.
"I don’t actually rate Minecraft, but of course the links to Dundee, and what they’ve done with the waterfront project, are fantastic."