Studio for New Realties, in collaboration with Glasgow-based Austin-Smith:Lord, Urban Movement and a team of specialists, has recently been appointed by Glasgow City Council to prepare the next round of District Regeneration Frameworks (DRFs) for Cowcaddens, Townhead, the ‘Learning Quarter’ and the Merchant City districts. These "DRFs" will set strategic frameworks for the physical, social and economic development of the city for the next ten years, with Studio for New Realities taking quality of use as the driving force and starting point for the strategy and all concrete proposals.
The District Regeneration Frameworks (DRFs) are a next step as part of the (Y)our City Center strategy for the renewal of Glasgow city center. The city center is a beautiful historical ensemble, but, like many other post-industrial cities, it faces spatial challenges such as vacant buildings, under utilised parcels, changes in retail, inner-city living, under utilised public space, safety and traffic, with mainly socio-economic and programmatic drivers for change. The (Y)our City Center strategy is a practical, multi-layered approach with a package of interventions that vary in size, and which jointly contribute to the 'upgrade' to a more livable, attractive, competitive and sustainable center for all Glaswegians.
In the Regeneration Frameworks, broader challenges for quality of life and well-being, prosperity and solidarity, health and sustainability will be translated into strategic and realistic interventions per district, in order to work towards a more complete, attractive and competitive city, with a more diverse range of facilities and public space for all Glaswegians and other users. Key principles are the realisation of a more inclusive program package, more responsible and healthier systems, embedded nature, production of energy and raw materials, employment, access to education and work, and the stimulation of innovation and the reduction of production in the urban system.
The DRFs build upon and extend the area's current qualities and potentials, "repair" problems and integrate needs and wishes. The Frameworks will capitalise on the area’s rich built and social heritage, diverse local culture and community assets including local businesses, city centre College, Universities and Innovation District, and will be prepared in consultation with local communities across all four Districts to respond to and enhance their distinctive local character. Working in collaboration with residents, businesses, community, civic and cultural organisations alongside major institutions including the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian University and City of Glasgow College it is intended to develop forward-thinking plans to help shape the future of these vital city centre districts. The Frameworks will promote both local and large scale projects in an action plan considering how to fund and deliver regeneration with short, medium and long term interventions.
The first DRFs for the Broomielaw, St. Enoch, Central and Blythswood neighborhoods were previously prepared by Austin-Smith: Lord as a local party in collaboration with MVRDV, where Jeroen Zuidgeest was responsible for developing the strategy and design. In the next four frameworks, Studio for New Realities is Lead Strategic and Urban designer. Austin-Smith:Lord is Lead Consultant and assists with local design knowledge. The team also draws upon the expertise of Urban Movement and Civic Engineers - who are working with Glasgow City Council on the Glasgow City Region City Deal ‘Avenues’ project and local artist-led organisation, WAVEparticle who recently represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale and have undertaken community-led projects on High Street-Saltmarket and in Laurieston.
The Regeneration Frameworks will establish a planning strategy to respond to opportunities and challenges these Districts face to enhance the quality of life, health and wellbeing of the local communities, economy and the environment.
The Frameworks will be prepared in consultation and collaboration with local communities over the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 with the intention that they will be published in late 2021 / early 2022. The Frameworks will also address the big challenges facing contemporary society including health, social and economic inequalities, climate change and how the city can renew and recover post-Covid-19. Details of how local communities and stakeholders can engage and help shape and influence these future Frameworks will be published in the coming weeks, with updates at www.yourcitycentre.com .
More news wil follow in autumn 2020.
Community consultation is a crucial element in the development of the DRFs. Glasgow residents will be able to give their input for the plans by means of an interactive platform. In this way, the desires and concerns expressed by Glaswegians will be mapped by comments linked to specific locations and themes, such as public space, housing and community, access to greenspace, and social contacts. This website was already part of the participation process, but has gained greater importance due to the Covid-19 measures. The results will be incorporated in the further development of the DRFs.