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Glasgow set for major transformation over next 30 years

Riverside overhaul, slashing the number of car journeys and a station revamp among plans.

Glasgow: The pedestrian will be king in 2050 <strong>STV</strong>
Glasgow: The pedestrian will be king in 2050 STV

Ideas for the transformation of Glasgow city centre over the next 30 years have been revealed.

Proposals include cutting the number of car journeys in half, revamping bus services and upgrading High Street Station, which could welcome high-speed rail.

Council chiefs want to turn the riverside into an attractive destination and address changing retail patterns.

The city’s evolution has been outlined in a draft plans and the authority wants to hear the public’s views in a consultation running until January 17.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “Glasgow is a city in transition, its transformation and reinvention over the last 30 years, from an area scarred by severe industrial decline to a modern outward-looking global destination city, is a world leading example of regeneration.

“As the centre moves forward towards 2050, there remain challenges to address and emerging opportunities to embrace.

“Prevailing social and health inequalities and the urgent global challenge of climate change demand a response that will shape the centre’s physical environment.”

Changes: A vibrant waterfront is envisaged

The report says Glasgow has one of the fastest growing economies in the UK and it hopes to be the most productive major city economy in the UK by 2023.

It highlights the “vibrant economy and cultural life” combined with an “inherent culture of innovation” provides a “strong platform” for the next 30 years.

But with demand for retail floorspace falling due to changes in shopping patterns, the report insists the city centre must diversify to become a “more attractive day out”.

Ideas include encouraging new leisure, arts and cultural attractions, more public spaces and more events.

Proposals must cater for families and children which the city centre “currently does not serve well”, the report says.

Other work could include strengthening “creative communities” at Trongate, Merchant City, Speirs Locks, Barras and Tradeston as well as supporting an arts cluster on Sauchiehall Street, linking with the redevelopment of Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Building.

The proposals envisage supporting the expansion of International Financial Services District to provide a more “vibrant riverfront”.

It also says “the pedestrian is king in Glasgow 2050” and car journeys should have reduced by 50% in 30 years, with a 30% target set for 2030.

“The centre must realise a transformational modal shift, where pedestrians and cyclists dominate over the car, within a more walkable and attractive streetscape that encourages sustainable travel behaviours.

“The remodelling of Buchanan Street 20 years ago created a successful people-focused street of global recognition.”

A joined up cycle network, a child-friendly pedestrian environment and a simplified, prioritised bus system are all part of the plans.

Streets could be “softened by street trees, rain gardens and attractive green spaces”.

Improvements: George Square will be enhanced STV

There are proposals to upgrade High Street Station, which could become a terminus for the proposed HS2 high-speed railway network.

It describes the current lack of public space as “critical” and suggests alleviating tidal flooding risks on the riverside and combating “traffic dominated” streets.

Blythswood Hill, an increasingly residential neighbourhood, could become the focus for a new ‘urban park’, the report says.

The redevelopment of Candleriggs should “provide a new focal point for the Merchant City” by building on its success as a temporary events space.

Ideas for a greener city also include “pocket parks” at key intersections, a riverside park from Glasgow Green to the SEC and the proposed M8 cap at Charing Cross Station and the Mitchell Library.

Plans to enhance George Square are also included in the report.

Public conversations on : Glasgow North, Greater Easterhouse and Inner East, will be carried out at a later date.

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