(Y)OUR DISTRICT REGENERATION FRAMEWORKS

(Y)OUR DISTRICT REGENERATION FRAMEWORKS

(Y)our Sustainable City Centre
Here is the second blog from the team working to prepare Districts Regeneration Frameworks for Cowcaddens, Townhead, the Learning Quarter and the Merchant City.  Judith Sykes and Carrie Behar are from Useful Projects which is a sustainable innovation consultancy for the built environment. They specialise in climate and biodiversity emergency planning, circular economy, social value and wellbeing, and design thinking and creativity.

A global and local imperative
The climate emergency and catastrophic biodiversity loss are two of the most pressing challenges facing the world today. In the context of a rapidly urbanising global population, every city has a part to play in addressing these challenges, by supporting the transition to a more equitable society and supporting citizens in leading sustainable lifestyles.

Glasgow has a strong impetus for implementing sustainable development. It can capitalise on the co-benefits of climate change and biodiversity loss mitigation as it manages relevant budgets around health, transport and housing, and has a deep understanding of how the different policy priorities impact on each other. Sustainability has been at the core of Glasgow’s planning and development policy for many years. It underpins the latest City Development Plan (2016), and is at the heart of the draft City Centre Living Strategy Vision 2035 and the Draft City Centre Strategic Development Framework (forthcoming). Furthermore, initiatives such as Sustainable Glasgow and the Connectivity Commission are examples of how Glasgow has successfully sought to take a fresh and holistic approach to environmental, social and economic development by advocating a partnership approach to travel and public transport provision.

In 2019, the Council joined other local authorities in declaring a climate emergency and set an ambitious target to become climate neutral by 2030. The city was due to host this year’s Conference of Parties annual climate change summit (COP26), currently postponed to 2021.

An unprecedented opportunity
The unprecedented response to COVID-19 shows just how quickly we can change. During the national lockdown, we have seen a glimpse of what a future city could look like: fewer cars, cleaner, quieter and more pleasant streets, better air quality and an increase in walking and cycling. In Scotland, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has already stated that the post-lockdown transition should reset agendas around sustainability.

Other international cities and organisations are joining the #buildbackbetter movement. For example, Amsterdam is applying doughnut economics as part of their planning for post-COVID recovery. Amsterdam’s vision is to be “a thriving, regenerative and inclusive city for all citizens while respecting the planetary boundaries”. Cities such as BogotἯspan> have provided emergency bikeways, and Milan is hoping to permanently reallocate street space from cars to cycling and walking, as part of a radical transformation prompted by the coronavirus crisis.

Building on success in four unique neighbourhoods
The District Regeneration Frameworks (DRFs) for Cowcaddens, Townhead, the ‘Learning Quarter’ and the Merchant City neighbourhoods will need to respond to the specific challenges and opportunities inherent in the fabric and social composition of each district. Working closely with local communities, to shape the transformation of their neighbourhoods into flourishing and sustainable pieces of city will bring this about.

While the distinct characteristics of each neighbourhood will be retained and celebrated, the city centre will achieve greater social and physical coherence through the application of shared sustainability themes and objectives. These include carbon neutrality, zero waste in construction and operation, biodiversity net gain, high physical and digital connectivity, empowered communities, and active, healthy lifestyles. The DRFs provide an opportunity to improve the neighbourhoods to provide a setting for greater inclusivity and justice- through the shaping of the physical environment in a way that enables and encourages people to live healthy lifestyles and attain the best possible quality of life.

To ensure the success of the DRFs, we intend to work with communities and stakeholders to develop distinctive, local solutions that are relevant to Glasgow and can be delivered in partnership to address these global challenges. Through extensive consultation and community engagement, we are gathering diverse perspectives and moving towards developing a consensus around a shared vision of success. The outcome of this approach will be a city that puts people at its heart.

COVID-19 has shown us that we can adapt. Now is the time to pause and reflect on some of the great work that Glasgow is already doing in meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (e.g. Avenues, Future City Glasgow, Circular Glasgow), before setting out a plan of action and an enabling framework that allows Glasgow to go even further in becoming a truly world-class sustainable city.

Judith Sykes and Carrie Behar
Our role on this project is to develop a sustainability framework for the DRFs, and to act as an experienced and creative ‘critical friend’ to the project team, to ensure the application of international best practice to deliver a thriving city – based on a sustainable, healthy and inclusive

DELIVERING LIFE-SAVING STREETS + SPACES

DELIVERING LIFE-SAVING STREETS + SPACES

(Y)our District Regeneration Frameworks

This is the first blog from the team working to prepare Districts Regeneration Frameworks for Cowcaddens, Townhead, the Learning Quarter and the Merchant City. Christopher Martin is Co-Founder and Director of Urban Strategy at Urban Movement; is a member of the United Nations Planning and Climate Action Group; a Trustee of Living Streets; and on the Executive Committee of the UK Urban Design Group.

In light of the current situation in which we find ourselves and spending a lot of time thinking creatively about Glasgow’s future with the District Regeneration Framework team, I have been reflecting a lot. Never before has local and national Government, the press, or we as the public been as interested in the design of our towns and cities as we are today.

We have heard so much recently about what COVID-19 means for cities; the way we will live, the way we will move, and the way we will work. Now more than ever, we have been made acutely aware of the adverse effects that certain urban conditions can have on our lives – in particular our health, happiness, and prosperity.

This crisis has bought into sharp focus the cities that we need to benefit our health and quality of life and help our city to thrive. As apart of the District Regeneration Framework we want to work with everyone to help shape the future Glasgow that we need.

The immediate solution to this crisis is ‘space’, and space is – and will be – the commodity that we must consider more carefully. How do we use the space we have to tackle this, the future crises we will face, as well as delivering all the advantages of cities for people?

We need space for movement, space to get around, so we need to prioritise space-efficient transport modes. Public transport is under massive pressure at the moment with people having to physically distance, and there isn’t enough space for everyone to drive – so space efficiency is the answer and we need to promote these modes. Indeed, everyone who walks or jumps on a bike to get where they need to go is helping key workers and people who sorely need to use public transport to get about more easily – and less stressfully.

We need more space for leisure, play and community as well. This crisis has brought communities together and made them stronger. We have seen neighbours chatting in the streets and children playing. In the immediate term for safety, but also in the future for improved quality of life and inclusive growth, we need to keep residential and community streets as places where children can learn to ride a bike or play together, and where community life can thrive.

Sometimes it is left out of discussions about the public realm, but we all need space for business as well, and more than ever. The economic fallout of this crisis will be challenging, so we will have to use the space we have in a way that actually – not anecdotally – strengthens the economy for all, and gives us vibrant, prosperous, and fun streets and spaces. Let’s face it, one thing we know for sure – we’re all going to need a good laugh when this is over, so we need to act now on our streets and public spaces to make sure we keep business and social life alive. The only conceivable way for pubs, cafes, and restaurants to meet physical distancing rules is if we can put tables and chairs on the streets.

To my mind, however you picture this, the way forward from today has to be an economic recovery strategy. To succeed, we need to prioritise space for economic recovery, space for health, space for community, and space for life to unfold. And when it comes to transport, we have to use ways of getting about that safeguard and deliver the space that we need – space for the recovery.

UDG-ideasSPACE_Streets-3

#YourCityCentre

THE NEXT (PHASE 3) DISTRICT REGENERATION FRAMEWORKS

THE NEXT (PHASE 3) DISTRICT REGENERATION FRAMEWORKS

Glasgow City Council has appointed a multidisciplinary team of local and international consultants to prepare for the next phase of our City Centre District Regeneration Frameworks (DRFs).

Austin-Smith-Lord will lead the team, in partnership with Rotterdam based urbanists Studio for New Realities, WAVEparticle and will also draw upon the expertise of Urban Movement and Civic Engineers. The four districts for phase 3 of the DRFs are Cowcaddens, Townhead, the “Learning Quarter” and the Merchant City.

These DRFs will be prepared in consultation with the local communities across all four districts to enhance their distinctive local character. To do this, consultants will be working in partnership with residents, businesses, community and civic organisations, as well as, Strathclyde University, Glasgow Caledonian University and the City of Glasgow College. This mix of knowledge and expertise will develop forward-thinking plans to help shape the future of these districts.

The Regeneration Frameworks will create a planning strategy to respond to challenges and opportunities these communities face to enhance the quality of life, health and wellbeing of the local communities, economy and environment.

The DRFs will promote local and large scale projects in an action plan which considers how to fund and deliver regeneration with short, medium and long term aims for each district. The DRFs will be prepared in consultation and cooperation with local communities over the remainder of 2020 and 2021. The intention is that publication will take place in 2022.  Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council and City Convener for Inclusive Economic Growth, said:

“It’s vital that our city centre is equipped for both the structural changes facing our high streets and the need for carbon neutrality within the next decade. These shifts are already creating both challenge and opportunity, and the district regeneration frameworks will give us the blueprints to renew the beating heart of Glasgow. A team of leading experts with international and local experience will assist us in shaping that future, whilst retaining the strengths and character we cherish about each district. We need our communities to come with us so I would urge all those whose neighbourhoods are within the frameworks to get involved in our consultation in the months ahead.”

CENTRAL/BLYTHSWOOD DISTRICT REGENERATION FRAMEWORKS

CENTRAL/BLYTHSWOOD DISTRICT REGENERATION FRAMEWORKS

The public consultation exercise for Central District Regeneration Framework (CDRF) closes on 14 February 2020, and the information received during this process will inform its final draft.

Thereafter, this document will return to Glasgow City Council’s City Administration Committee for final approval before becoming a live document. The council will then look to deliver on the outputs contained within the CDRF Action Plan over the next ten years. There will be regular updates as the themed projects develop.

Additionally, Blythswood District Regeneration Framework (BLDRF) has now received approval to proceed to public consultation. This process will commence on 31 January 2020 and continue for eight weeks, closing on 27 March 2020.

Glasgow City Council has already received thousands of responses from members of the public during the engagement and consultation phases of the City Centre Districts Strategy. However, your thoughts, comments and suggestions are still needed to help inform the remaining DRFs, with specific reference to both Central DRF (before it closes) and Blythswood DRF (once it goes live).

In this way, please continue to let us know how you feel about these proposals. You can access links to the Central, and Blythswood DRF surveys, below. Additionally, you can also access the results of previous DRF surveys via Glasgow City Council’s Consultation Hub, a link for which is also provided below.

Central DRF Consultation – click here for the survey on the Central DRF.

Blythswood DRF Consultation –click here for the Blythswood DRF survey.

Previous DRF Consultations – click here to access GCC’s Consultation Hub and the results of previous DRF surveys.

CENTRAL DISTRICT REGENERATION FRAMEWORK PUBLIC CONSULTATION LIVE

CENTRAL DISTRICT REGENERATION FRAMEWORK PUBLIC CONSULTATION LIVE

Consultation is underway on regeneration plans for Glasgow’s Central District
Glasgow City Council has considered a report on a draft regeneration strategy for the Central District of the city centre and approved a 10-week public consultation on the draft strategy which went live on 06/12/2019. So now is your opportunity to have your say regarding the future of Glasgow’s Central District. We have already received a number of responses over the festive period but we would like to encourage as many people as possible to get involved.

Each of the nine districts in Glasgow city centre has or will have a District Regeneration Framework (DRF) – essentially, a plan for short, medium and long-term actions to be delivered that will bring economic, environmental and social improvements to the area.  The DRFs are created with input from local communities, organisations and a wide range of stakeholders, both internal and external.

The draft Central DRF (CDRF) is the fourth of the nine city centre districts, and has been developed in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team led by Austin-Smith: Lord and MVRDV, and informed by consultations in the area and online.  This consultation period sees a further opportunity for local parties to make their views known. The final Central DRF and Action Plan will be produced after the end of the consultation period.

The process of developing this draft DRF investigated the Central district’s strengths, potential, opportunities and challenges: the district lies at the heart of the city centre and is key to all the surrounding districts, it contains the city’s leading retail quarter and much public transport provision – but is still dominated by the car with a corresponding impact on public space.

Five key themes have emerged from the Central DRF:

  • (Y)our Great Streets and Spaces: this theme seeks to respond to the car and bus dominated character of the district and address the shortage of quality green and public spaces. Broken connections and gaps in the urban form need to be addressed throughout the district and investment in public spaces and the physical environment is essential. It also focuses on connection and re-connection to further develop the diverse and distinctive character in the CDRF;
  • (Y)our Updated Mobility: this incorporates proposals to enhance the city centre’s public transport and active travel networks to create a sustainable, walkable city, and will include a review of the City Centre Transport Strategy in the context of the CDRF objectives and the recommendations of the Connectivity Commission;
  • (Y)our Vibrant Central: this theme explores ways to address the lack of local neighbourhood amenities which might prevent people from choosing to live within the Central District area. It is therefore important that increased community infrastructure should accompany increased city centre residential development and achieve higher densities of working populations. Not only should the locations of attractions and destinations inform the alignment of key routes across the city centre but the city centre should become more lively, with more night-time economy, more viable amenities, better connections to the existing cultural and creative infrastructure  and a more sustainable, walkable and activated district;
  • (Y)our Great Buildings: this theme seeks to ensure that Glasgow’s historic fine built heritage is protected and that it continues to be recognised as some of the greatest urban architecture in the UK. Consequently, it is imperative that new developments respect this legacy whilst striving to achieve the highest quality in contemporary design.
  • Transforming (Y)our Central: this focuses on the creation of agile policies and shared objectives to attract investment, secure funding and foster collaborative working in the district. Transforming this district cannot however be delivered by the Council alone; this must be a truly collaborative partnership between all stakeholders. Despite the lack of public ownership, GCC will look to identify and work with partners to develop masterplan strategies for both sides of the river.

The purpose of this public consultation is to signify support for specific projects and to determine which actions from this DRF should be prioritised. The public consultation will run from 6th December 2019 – 14 February 2020 and interested parties can participate via an online survey, by email or by post.

A summary report of the draft Central DRF can be found here

The Central DRF Public Consultation can be found here

If approved, the Central DRF would become supplementary guidance for the City Development Plan – thus shaping the future development of the Central District.

CENTRAL DISTRICT REGENERATION FRAMEWORK: PUBLIC CONSULTATION

CENTRAL DISTRICT REGENERATION FRAMEWORK: PUBLIC CONSULTATION

Consultation is to begin on regeneration plan for Glasgow’s Central District
Glasgow City Council has considered a report on a draft regeneration strategy for the Central District of the city centre and approved a 10-week public consultation on the draft strategy which goes live today (06/12/2019).

Each of the nine districts in Glasgow city centre has or will have a District Regeneration Framework (DRF) – essentially, a plan for short, medium and long-term actions to be delivered that will bring economic, environmental and social improvements to the area.  The DRFs are created with input from local communities, organisations and a wide range of stakeholders.

The draft Central DRF is the fourth of the nine for the city centre districts, and has been developed in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team led by Austin-Smith: Lord and MVRDV, and informed by consultations in the area and online.  The consultation period sees a further opportunity for local parties to make their views known, and the final Central DRF and Action Plan will be produced after the end of the consultation period.

The process of developing this draft DRF found the Central district’s strengths, potential, opportunities and challenges: the district lies at the heart of the city centre and is key to all the surrounding districts, it contains the city’s leading retail quarter and much public transport provision – but is still dominated by the car and the subsequent impact on public space.

Five key themes have emerged from the Central DRF:

  • (Y)our Great Streets and Spaces: this theme seeks to respond to the car and bus dominated character of the district and address the shortage of quality green and public spaces. Broken connections and gaps in the urban form need to be addressed throughout the district and investment in public spaces and the physical environment is essential. It also focuses on connection and re-connection to further develop the diverse and distinctive character in the CDRF;
  • (Y)our Updated Mobility: this incorporates proposals to enhance the city centre’s public transport and active travel networks to create a sustainable, walkable city, and will include a review of the City Centre Transport Strategy in the context of the CDRF objectives and the recommendations of the Connectivity Commission;
  • (Y)our Vibrant Central: this theme explores ways to address the lack of local neighbourhood amenities which might prevent people from choosing to live within the Central District area. It is therefore important that increased community infrastructure should accompany increased city centre residential development and achieve higher densities of working populations. Not only should the locations of attractions and destinations inform the alignment of key routes across the city centre but the city centre should become more lively, with more night-time economy, more viable amenities, better connections to the existing cultural and creative infrastructure  and a more sustainable, walkable and activated district;
  • (Y)our Great Buildings: this theme seeks to ensure that Glasgow’s historic fine built heritage is protected and that it continues to be recognised as some of the greatest urban architecture in the UK. Consequently, it is imperative that new developments respect this legacy whilst striving to achieve the highest quality in contemporary design.
  • Transforming (Y)our Central: this focuses on the creation of agile policies and shared objectives to attract investment, secure funding and foster collaborative working in the district. Transforming this district cannot however be delivered by the Council alone; this must be a truly collaborative partnership between all stakeholders. Despite the lack of public ownership, GCC will look to identify and work with partners to develop masterplan strategies for both sides of the river.

The aim of the public consultation is to establish support for specific projects, and to determine which actions should be prioritised.  The public consultation will run from 6 December – 14 February, and those interested can take part through an online survey, by email and by post.

A summary report of the draft Central DRF can be found here: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=47161.

The Central DRF Public Consultation can be found here:https://www.glasgowconsult.co.uk/KMS/dmart.aspx?strTab=PublicDMartCurrent

If approved, the Central DRF would become supplementary guidance for the City Development Plan – thus shaping the future development of the Central District.