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Students encouraged to build sustainable projects for Aberdeen


A student focussed initiative to build sustainable projects for Aberdeen will begin this month.

Now in its second year, CityLab will see students from Robert Gordon University (RGU) and the University of Aberdeen team up with Aberdeen City Council to transform and innovate by initiating student led solutions for city-wide challenges.

The 9-week collaborative project takes place every Wednesday morning where students will gather to develop ideas specifically designed to tackle social and cultural change within the city.

Jon Pengelly, Head of Postgraduate Studies at Gray’s School of Art, said: “The ethos of CityLab is essentially to create opportunities for students from both universities to work in mixed groups, towards identifying a City wide challenge or opportunity, where they can make a real difference.

"The project is sponsored by Aberdeen City Council who initiated the project and are able to help and mentor the students groups towards developing and delivering their ideas.”

Last year, the CityLab project saw groups of students pitch their ideas to a group of invited stakeholders. Among the ideas pitched was a new take on an Airbnb-style online portal; a cultural hub providing space for start-up businesses and independent food outlets as a way of establishing a creative eco-system in the city; improvements to cycling infrastructure including the introduction of two Dutch-style roundabouts to increase safety; and a project looking at how to increase the use and safety of the city’s parks.

The winning idea, which stakeholders voted to theoretically invest in following a Dragon’s Den style pitch, was Fit Dish, developed by Aberdeen University students Bogdan Goroneanu and Robyn Hannaford, and RGU student Jordan Pellerin.

Focusing on reducing food waste in the city, the idea would see the students source unused food from outlets such as supermarkets and use the kitchen facilities of partner organisations to create meals. They would then sell the food from a tuk tuk, stopping at various locations in the city, on a ‘Pay as You Feel’ basis, meaning people give what they can afford or feel the food is worth.

Students from any discipline are welcome to be involved in this year’s project. If you are interested or want to find out more, please contact Jon Pengelly.

Release by Stacey Horne
Communications Officer | Aberdeen Business School
Press and Media Enquiries