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Aviemore: dude, where's my town centre?

Rice, Katie; Hughes, Eddie; Laing, Richard; Deveci, Gokay


Katie Rice

Eddie Hughes

Richard Laing


This paper concerns the development of Aviemore, a village in the Highlands of Scotland, and the importance of considering a lost 'town centre'. Aviemore evolved rapidly as an all-year tourism destination in the 1960s and 1970s, mainly through the construction of a planned tourism 'Centre'. The Centre itself consisted of a collection of buildings including an ice rink, swimming pool, various retail outlets, restaurants and hotels, and became a major focus for Scottish tourism during the following 20 years. The 'Centre' was located to one side of the older village, and was planned so as to avoid heavy traffic, with Aviemore itself located on one of the main north to south traffic routes, including a railway station. During the 1980s, the 'Centre' suffered from an economic downturn, due in part to a growth in overseas tourism, and was partly demolished during the 1990s. Recent investment to Aviemore and the village has seen a return of tourist activity and revenue to the area, with a particular emphasis on skiing, hillwalking and other outward-bound activities. However, the village is perceived to lack an identifiable town centre or focal point. The research methodology involved a mixed methods approach, including interviews with members of the public and the local community council, and data collection in the field. The study concludes that the village lacks a recognised or recognisable 'town centre', and argues that establishing this in future developments will be a crucial next step in re-establishing Aviemore as a village, in addition to offering tourism opportunities.


RICE, K., HUGHES, E., LAING, R. and DEVECI, G. 2017. Aviemore: dude, where's my town centre? Architecture and civil engineering: proceedings of the 5th International architecture and civil engineering annual conference (ACE 2017), 8-9 May 2017, Singapore [online], article 120. Available from:

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Conference Name 5th International architecture and civil engineering annual conference (ACE 2017)
Conference Location Singapore
Start Date May 8, 2017
End Date May 9, 2017
Acceptance Date Mar 26, 2017
Online Publication Date May 8, 2017
Publication Date May 16, 2017
Deposit Date May 11, 2017
Publicly Available Date May 11, 2017
Journal Architecture and civil engineering
Print ISSN 2301-394X
Electronic ISSN 2301-3958
Publisher GSTF: Global Science and Technology Forum
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Article Number 120
Keywords Town centres; Public engagement; Planning; Aviemore; Placemaking
Public URL


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