The Glasgow City Council has selected a multidisciplinary team lead by MVRDV and Glasgow-based Austin-Smith:Lord to transform downtown Glasgow into a “more livable, attractive, competitive and sustainable center.” Titled (Y)our City Center, the strategy calls for a regeneration of the 400 hectare city center that would reorganize circulation and infrastructure while providing new residential options to support Scotland’s economic center.
As home to many of Scotland’s major economic institutions, downtown Glasgow serves the needs of 135,000 people on a daily basis, offering a mix of leisure, culture, shopping and entertainment experiences. But despite recent efforts to bolster the city’s tourism and financial sectors, major urban challenges remain: inefficient use of public space, divisive infrastructure, automobile-dominated streetscapes, lack of green space, large numbers of vacant buildings, shortage of residential inhabitants and environmental issues resulting from high emissions are just some of issues plaguing Scotland’s largest city.
“It is time for Glasgow to move forward with its ambition for a lively city centre that is also an attractive place to live, green, and importantly, one that has more Glaswegians residents living there,’’ said MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. “We are excited to work together with Glasgow City Council and the city, in a dialogue with communities to realise this vision of a bigger, bolder and stronger city of the future. We all want the centre re-populated, more pedestrian and cycle friendly, also the riverfront on the Clyde Banks made more attractive for all.’’
The plan encompasses major changes to downtown infrastructure, breaking down the challenging conditions found on all four edges of the city center. A reimagined urban motorway and road system will allow for better circulation from highway to city, while the underused, inaccessible riverside will be revitalized for public use. These strategies will allow the downtown to reconnect to adjacent neighborhoods and to take advantage of dead zones for green spaces and leisure activities. New pedestrian and cycle routes will connect new residents to these experiences.
“The (Y)our City Centre strategy is a hands-on, layered approach with a series of projects that range in scale, that will collectively contribute to the ‘upgrade’ of the city, to boost the liveliness, attractiveness and competitiveness of the city in a larger (inter)national context, allowing for a gradual development by many stakeholders,’’ said Jeroen Zuidgeest, MVRDV partner and architect.
Led by MVRDV and Austin-Smith:Lord, the multidisciplinary team includes Arup, Urban Tide, Doug Wheeler Associates, Ryden, WAVEparticle, Gardiner and Theobald, Gerry Grams local communities and stakeholders. Urban research is supported by strategic design firm Space Syntax.
To learn more about MVRDV’s approach to the project, read Winy Maas’s critical essay Reinventing Glasgow: what the Dear Green Place can learn from Rotterdam, recently published in the Scotland Herald.
News via MVRDV.