Discovery Walk links Dundee waterfront to city’s innovation heritage
Posted : 10 July 2017
Dundee’s £1billion waterfront redevelopment project was linked firmly to the city’s heritage of discovery and innovation today, with the formal unveiling of the Discovery Walk.
Discovery Walk is a series of specially designed bronze plaques commemorating famous people from or connected with Dundee who have made significant contributions to science and society.
Lord Provost Bob Duncan of the City of Dundee formally unveiled the first ten plaques to be installed in Discovery Walk, at Slessor Gardens on the city's Central Waterfront.
There are nine plaques commemorating scientists, engineers, writers, artists, social reformers and philanthropists, plus a tenth plaque introducing the Walk.
The individuals being celebrated were chosen in a public consultation exercise last year. The criteria for selection were that the nominees must be deceased and must have either been born or spent much of their time in Dundee.
They must have made a notable or influential discovery or innovation, either in Dundee or clearly linked to the city.
The audience for the event included relatives of those being honoured in the plaques, together with colleagues, supporters and all of those who have made the Walk possible.
Lord Provost of Dundee Bob Duncan said: "The city already has a number of interesting and exciting attractions that bring tourists to Dundee and it is wonderful that we can now add the Discovery Walk to that list.
"Our heritage is studded with prominent people in a wide variety of disciplines and it is great to see them being celebrated and commemorated in this way."
Discovery Walk is the brainchild of Kelly Marr, an Australian who has made Dundee her home.
She said: "I was inspired by the famous Writers’ Walk around Sydney Harbour celebrating more than 50 writers either from or associated with Australia in some way. During the last 20 years I would hear about some of the great innovations that were made in Dundee, and I always felt that it was a great shame that such achievements were not celebrated publicly.
"To understand the people included in Discovery Walk is to understand that great achievements are the result of intellect, certainty, determination, generosity and imagination. These are the examples that will be passed on to all generations of Dundonians, inspiring the city to retain the accolade of being a world-recognised progressive and innovative centre of achievement."
Ten organisations in the city have agreed to be Champions of Discovery Walk. NCR are overall Champions, and each of the plaques has a Champion closely linked to the achievement being celebrated.
Adam Crighton, Vice-President at NCR in Dundee, said: "NCR considers it an honour and a privilege to champion this unique and important project as we celebrate our 70th year in Dundee in 2016. Courageous, forward thinking individuals, like the ones we are paying tribute to today, are undoubtedly at the forefront of driving innovations that enable us to evolve and grow as both individuals and as a society. NCR has a proud history of continuous innovation over the last 130 years, a number of which would simply not have been possible without the creative legacy of the candidates that we honour today."
Dundee-based artist and illustrator Suzanne Scott, who works under the name WhimSicAL LusH, has been commissioned to design the first 10 plaques. Suzanne has exhibited all over Scotland and her unique illustrations have featured in widely sold prints, stationary, mugs and jewellery.
Suzanne said: ""I am beyond delighted to have been asked to be a part of this exciting and interesting project. To have my work be part of the Dundee Waterfront is such an honour. I was born in Dundee and came back to live here 15 years ago. I never left as it is a beautiful and inspiring city, which I am proud to live in."
The Discovery Walk project is being steered by a group comprising representatives of Dundee City Council, Abertay Historical Society, Abertay University, University of Dundee, Dundee Science Centre and Axis Shield Diagnostics.
The group hopes to be able to raise further funding to extend the Walk with more plaques in the future.