This year’s spatial planning class investigated the issues around the western edge of Glasgow city centre, mimicking a real life project undertaken by Scottish Enterprise and Glasgow City Council. The area included the International Financial Services District (IFSD), the land under and west of the motorway and Kingston Bridge, as well as the sites around the 1960s Cadogan Square scheme at Anderston, where the team pic was taken.
Working with Aminn Kamete and Kevin the student groups devised strategies for mending the fractured linkages, upgrading the subway station, and bringing a diverse mix of uses into the area, from technology and finance, to culture and learning. Proposals for some housing (including for students!) and hotels, came forward alongside some ideas for new public spaces and radical traffic calming, with much better cycling links. Some of the bigger ambitions included additional crossings over the Clyde, while there were also radical ideas to make the spaces under the bridge more useable.
This was a more fragmented challenge than many of the previous study areas and, given that market circumstances were seen to be sticky at best, many of the proposals we functional, pragmatic and even a little cautious. This was perfectly realistic given local and global conditions, but most teams devised approaches for ramping things up over time, and having partnership and funding approaches to ensure delivery.
The project parameters were typical of so many current cities across the world, outside the booming economies, and a good model from which to explore strategies and appreciate potential risks and outcomes.