With the holiday season almost upon us, there is an anticipation that many people may choose to stay closer to home due to ongoing restrictions and uncertainties around foreign travel. The challenge for GCC is ensuring that Glasgow continues to operate as effectively as possible and offers a warm and welcoming destination for everyone.
Since its inception in 2014, the City Centre Mural Trail has provided an alternative offer within Glasgow city centre. Freely available to visitors, tourists and residents alike, the murals have been praised for their positive impact on the urban landscape.
GCC has looked to promote this activity through its own media channels and those of our project partners, such as Glasgow Life and Visit Scotland. Additionally, GCC has developed a range of helpful resources to raise awareness of and engagement with the City Centre Mural Trail. For instance, we now have an Audio Map, an interactive online tool which allows people to participate in a “virtual” guided walking tour of the murals.
Though led by GCC, the City Centre Mural Trail relies on the goodwill and active participation of artists, landlords and the general public. Without this community involvement the project simply would not exist. Instead, the project has become hugely successful and is now highly ranked on TripAdvisor, generating media interest around the world.
As an example of this interest, GCC staff were recently invited to take part in an interview with the Glasgow City Heritage Trust and the results can be found here:
For further information about the City Centre Mural Trail please see:
To access GCC’s online story map, please use the following link: Audio Map
The Puppet Animation will now have a presence within Glasgow City Centre, at 31-39 Trongate, 50 Parnie St and 19-21 Saltmarket. This event is part of the Scotland’s International Festival of Visual Theatre and Animated Film.
This is a mechanical puppet animation and seeks to attract footfall to the area. If you live in the Glasgow local authority area, and are looking for something to do, or a place to visit as the city is still in Tier 3, please feel free to come and enjoy the spectacular artwork.
This event will run from 19 – 24 May and has proven to be a great success in Aberdeen and Edinburgh. So, what are you waiting for?
Due to covid restrictions, you should only visit if you live in Glasgow City.
Glasgow City Council, after approval from the Scottish Government, has adopted its City Centre Strategic Development Framework (SDF) – the document which will help guide the centre’s development over the next three decades, driving economic renewal and meeting the challenges of climate change.
This SDF now provides Supplementary Guidance to Glasgow’s City Development Plan and will inform all planning and land use regeneration decisions in the centre. The SDF is an accompanying document to the City Centre Strategy, which is currently under revision. The SDF also provides an overarching placemaking policy context for the city centre’s nine District Regeneration Frameworks, which provide more detailed placemaking guidance to guide development at the local District level.
The SDF was developed through public consultation, and at its heart, the document has six key ambitions for the city centre to bring economic, environmental and social benefit to Glasgow:
- Reinforce the city centre’s economic competitiveness;
- Re-populate the city centre and ensure liveable and sustainable neighbourhoods that promote health, wellbeing and social cohesion;
- Reconnect the city centre with surrounding communities and its riverside;
- Reduce traffic dominance and car dependency and create a pedestrian and cycle friendly city centre, with improved public transport, that is healthier and cleaner;
- Green the city centre and make it climate resilient with a network of high-quality public spaces and green-blue infrastructure that caters for a variety of human and climatic needs; and
- Repair, restore and enhance the urban fabric to reconnect streets and reinforce the city centre’s distinctive heritage and character.
The delivery of these ambitions will mean that Glasgow will have a city centre that is vibrant, sustainable, liveable and well-connected, offering ‘20-minute neighbourhoods’ that provide all the daily (and night-time) needs of the people who work, live, study and visit there in terms of local services, shops and green space.
The environment of the city centre will be healthier, with its streets and public spaces both more attractive and more resilient to climate change – helping to deliver the national target to be net zero-carbon by 2045. The area will also attract more investment as businesses and developers respond to the increased quality of its spaces and places, so fundamental to the enjoyment of a city centre.
Glasgow City Council looks forward to collaborating with local residents, workers and visitors – as well as government agencies, investors, developers, and businesses – and all who experience the city centre on the delivery of the SDF Action Plan and the future improvement of the city centre.
Some of the key actions proposed in the city centre SDF include measures to: improve the offer of the city centre as a ‘day out destination’ with more leisure opportunities, featuring public spaces (including a new river park) that will complement and support its retail offer; create high quality and vibrant mixed-use business environments that better serve and support a modern workforce; create a simplified, highly integrated ‘green grid’ street network that improves the walking and cycling experience throughout the centre; improve crossings and the environment around the M8; and create a network of high quality public open spaces featuring trees and planting as part of the overall ambition to ‘green the grey’ of the city centre.
Glasgow’s City Centre SDF – the contents of which also respond to ongoing changes in the retail, office, leisure and residential sectors – can be found here and along with the Council’s other adopted SDFs for the River Corridor and Govan/Patrick here
As part of the High Street Area Strategy, City Property and Glasgow City Council have been trialling a Meanwhile Use initiative. The purpose of this initiative is to show that there are innovative ways to bring vacant units into use and to animate the area. Most meanwhile use tenants on the High Street and Saltmarket are from the creative communities, so they bring a distinct offer to the area. For instance, some of the tenants were involved in the “2020 Vision” event held in December. This event saw shopfronts illuminated in 3D designs and helped improve the vibrancy of the area. It is hoped that more events like this will take place, with the local community, artists and businesses working in partnership to rejuvenate the area.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, the vast majority of tenants who took part in the initiative are keen to stay within the spaces and transfer to full commercial leases on stepped rental terms. This shows that if we change and reimagine our approach to vacant units, we can create locations that are commercially sustainable whilst help increase demand in the area. In addition, it also enables us to have creative, imaginative individuals at the heart of our communities, which can only help improve the vitality of our neighbourhoods.
Given the success of this trial it will be interesting to see how meantime use might be extended to other areas and how this might be achieved.
Collecting ideas for Cowcaddens, Townhead, Learning Quarter and Merchant City continues.
You can still contribute, still let us know how you think things could be improved. If you live, work or visit these districts fill out either or both the Proposal form or the Pledge forms then send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
All the ideas will be added to all the other community and stakeholder conversations that we have already had. There will also be more community engagement sessions latter in March and April. The idea is to use all the information and ideas that we have collected to create a handbook for each of these districts. These will set out suggestions and ideas which aim to make these districts better places over the next 10 years.
The top three things that people wanted to talk about so far have been streets and spaces, moving around and feeling safe. Are your ideas about one or more of these things or is it something else that you see as an opportunity to make things better.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
The Thriving City story map has been developed as part of the High Street Area Strategy, to offer an opportunity to explore 1500 years of history of the High Street of Glasgow. Like many projects within the strategy, the Thriving City story map intends to bring more visitors to the High Street, with the ambition of improving the look and feel of this historic street, bringing a new lease of life to the area and the local community.
The Thriving City story map is in three main sections: historic images of people, places and events shown on banners, along the High Street; a vennels, wynds and closes heritage trail where you can discover who, what and where people lived throughout the ages and the Community Heritage map (currently being developed), which gives local communities the chance to tell their stories of the High Street.
You can explore the beautifully curated images on the banners, by clicking on the map, which will follow in Spring 2021. Each point on the map aligns with two historic images. By clicking on the images you can discover, the hidden history of the site. On your journey, you will find out about the famous people who lived and worked there, including James Watt and Adam Smith. Events such as the Battle of Havana and the Battle of Bell ‘O’Brae and historic buildings hidden beneath the Victorian architecture. You can explore the heritage of the Old College and the Old Pedagogy.
The Vennels, Wynds and Closes heritage trail directs visitors using a series of historical hand-painted signs which are due to installed in Spring 2021.
The Past Present and Possible project will feed into the Community Heritage map section and will contain the history of the community associated with different locations in the area.
The story map offers a free, fun and exciting way to explore the High Street, as well as providing knowledge on the heritage of the oldest street in Glasgow. You can access the developing story map here.