What grand projects come next?

Riverside Museum (Pic by Sheila Watt) Image copyright Other
Image caption The Riverside Museum in Glasgow was one of the projects which benefited from substantial funding

What are the next big projects to define modern Scotland?

Yes, I know, some will wish to answer that with an emphatic political answer.

I'm asking about projects in stone, concrete, maybe glass. It's a question prompted by the opening of the expensively refurbished Royal Museum of Scotland.

That follows the recent opening of the new transport museum in Glasgow. And over the next three years, Glasgow will have the best of the grand public buildings as Commonwealth Games venues are opened.

But the drying up of public funds suggests that a bumper era of big public projects may be coming to a close after that.

That era was greatly helped by National Lottery and Millennium funding. It left some significant landmarks: museums such as Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, and the Science Centre in Glasgow.

Edinburgh also got the National Museum of Scotland, adjacent to the Royal Museum in Chambers Street, and - notoriously over-budget - the new Parliament building.

Battle stations

In Glasgow, the Kelvingrove Museum secured a major upgrade.

Inverness's Eden Court theatre got a makeover. And outside the big cities, there have been new visitor centres at Culloden and Alloway.

Bannockburn is next in line, for the battle's 700th anniversary.

Ravenscraig has a new college and sports centre, while Gretna is to get a landmark sculpture to greet north-bound visitors to Scotland.

Inspired by the success of the Angel of the North at Gateshead, recent such grand public art project spending has enhanced journeys along the M8 and at Cumbernauld.

Less conspicuous, but still quite pricey, have been the community buy-outs of Highland and Island estates, while European funding - another funding source gone dry - has left a legacy of improved transport links and various bits of a far-flung new university.

Throughout the country, the boost to capital spending over the past decade or so has been particularly noticeable on university campuses, as more funding was aligned with the growth of student numbers.

Project pipeline

Perhaps the end of the Olympic drain on National Lottery funding will return to public projects elsewhere.

There are a few such candidates still in the pipeline - the Victoria and Albert Museum offshoot planned for Dundee, for instance.

And in Aberdeen, the controversy over Union Terrace Gardens highlights two factors in the north-east - one, that the city centre badly needs better public spaces, and that the next generation of grand projects may have to rely far more on private philanthropy, such as the £50m tabled by Sir Ian Wood. But on what conditions?

So, as public funding for big capital projects takes a hit from the decade of austerity now under way, and with scarce capital taken up more often with major transport priorities, what do you think should be put in the pipeline for the next grand projects that will define modern Scotland? What are the next big projects to define modern Scotland?