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Glad you liked my comments. As for Brum and Manc, I'm hugely interested in the rivalry between those two cities. It's fascinating how, when Brum really was second to London in almost every respect - in the 1960s - Westminster deliberately legislated to cut it down to size; whereas when Manchester occupies a similar position now, the government's wind is in its sails. Brummies are understandably aggrieved.

I'm actually a bit of a Birmophile - it's a great city, but it makes you work a bit harder than other cities for your reward; it doesn't present its many treasures on a platter. As for Manchester, well - I actually like the city itself very much - but I find the self-importance and crude evangelism of some of its proponents seriously offputting.

One of the things that elevates Glasgow above these two cities is the density of its residential architecture, tenements a uniquely Scottish phenomenon in the UK - which make residential areas seem properly urban (in a good way) rather than suburban. That's what makes Glasgow seem bigger and more metropolitan than Brum and Manc, which have really concentrated, built-up city centres surrounded by much lower-density development.

Having an Underground also helps - both Brum and Manc would love one of those, even if only one line that goes round in a circle!
I couldn't agree more. I always get that feeling in Manchester/Birmingham of sudden transition from centre outwards to low rise, low density, lack of place. And of less historic fabric in the centre to retain and respect.

Successful placemaking development should in theory be more widespread in Glasgow because there are many more jigsaw pieces in place to build upon.

Most of the buildings and places we admire now in Glasgow - and which appealed to Acquiescent owe their appeal to ambition and a contextual approach that creates a sense of place.

My biggest wish is that the planners to bear this much more in mind when creating entirely new places (Pacific Quay?), building upon a core (Canals quarter/Spiers Wharf?) or simply filling a central site (110 Queen Street? Buchanan Centre extension?)....
 

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It's mostly down to execution for me.
I took my lads and some of their pals on a wander round Glasgow city centre recently (they hadn't seen Greaves Sports - a childhood place of excitement for me) and came away with the same opinion as some bars or eateries felt like they do it better than others. Same I'm sure applies to markets and such.

Interestingly on the public feedback point, and hopefully useful tho not about Glasgow, Kenspeckle posted a response recently from the city Centre Business Improvement Area guy in Edinburgh responding to survey and other feedback and such on the trial of decked and tented eatier/bar pavillions and misc other streetscape changes that were part of an ongoing years trial on George Street. Background is they are probably rightly bricking it a bit in anticipation of a big shift eastwards in retail gravity when St James centre and other areas on or off St Andrew Square are redeveloped.

Anyway, the point is that although lots of positives in footfall support and useful learnings, gist I took out was big room for improvement acknowledged and whatever emerges post-trial won't look like it does now. Public felt the set up was too cheap, too assymetrical, blocks street views rather than enhances etc. IMHO it looked and felt temporary to me - lacking the design detail and nuance that could help it blend in better and feel like a natural part of the streetscape. I think a standard form of decking/tent also felt odd - when you expect a bit of personalisation by establishment.

I think most people like a bit of al fresco and the principle is entirely positive but I just think we're all a bit new at it - or do it on the cheap - versus the continent.
 

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I broached the issue of a Greater Glasgow mayor here last year but the general opinion was mixed.

Neighbouring authorities seem to be a bit of an issue - there was general outrage in my local rag the other week when it was suggested that Rutherglen and Cambuslang be merged back into Glasgow - mostly from our former MP. I rather got the impression I was the lone voice of assimilation...
Spot on. There are several big issues - lack of powers, the need practically/ideally for a 'city-region' solution and the need for a more visible and accountable figurehead to drive change.

The Manchester style solution on offer to other English cities that seeks to resolve this is to have a regional 'Metro-Mayor' as a condition of devolution of powers and revenue. Someone who can sit above all the individual LA's and knock heads together when necessary - and as people say, it injects greater accountability and visibility.

That is a model that could build on the Glasgow city deal experience of LA's working together and be implemented without changing LA boundaries - so might get other LA's on-side easier - and achieve a lot of the benefits far quicker. I think boundaries should be reformed but I can see that being an issue that hinders progress.
 

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Strathclyde country park,gets nearly 4 times as many visiitors as Edinburgh Castle?

So the survey includes local jakey neds and not just tourisits?
Pretty much. An attraction like a museum - say kelvingrove or whatever - can count actual numbers through the door. Strathclyde Park or any country parks can include est of how many people attend a series of fireworks displays, plays footie on any pitches, walks the dog, school trips etc. And most of these stats will be estimates added to the odd survey of baseline casual visitors multipled up. M&Ds would be part of Strathclyde park's stats as well.

As ever, headline stats need unpicking. There's also the question of spend - whether a visitor is spending money on stuff or as with fireworks or whatever, just turning up and watching.

Glasgow has a very good tourism product - with strengths in conferences, shopping breaks, concert/gig breaks, younger alt city breaks / stags & hens etc - plus it is a serious player internationally for big events. Strathclyde Park has little to do with that. It isn't as comparatively strong for traditional tourism in sense of overseas visitors 'doing Scotland' where somewhere like Edinburgh is a more obvious destination or a base for adding St Andrews, Stirling or bussing the highlands etc.

On the bigger topic of flagship urban realm, I think there is a place for this. The highline park in NY is a huge visitor attraction. Just been there - fantastic amenity for Ny'ers and visitors alike. Shows how urban realm can trigger development.

But I also think small incremental improvements and just good planning decisions that bit by bit build the jigsaw of streets and localities into somewhere more pleasant to wander through. This may mean at times stricter contextual planning rather than the juxtaposition/free for all school of gerrit built. But over 10, 20 years the little and less obvious things add up. You have to start this process and accept it is a process, not an immediate fix IMHO.
 

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He is, literally, talking to himself half the time. The compulsion to code everything up in FBOT-speak is symptomatic of an unusually narcissistic personality.
 

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Hard to fathom why we haven't gone and planted 10,000 street trees yet. Just..why?
If anyone has ever been to Bournemouth then you'll be struck by the profusion of mature pine trees in many neighbourhoods. It feels like the place has been carved out of a forest - which my mate who used to live there briefly said is exactly the case.

But not a natural forest. There was a massive tree planting exercise in late 18th C on heathland which the city expanded into. Indeed a pine tops the city crest.

Like the Hamburg example, but on a more monumental scale, it made a big impression on me and creates a very distinctive vibe.
 

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A rather beautifully rendered Lager Lovely on the Tennents Wall. Looks like they are refreshing some of the existing murals and adding some new.
Really beautifully rendered.

I wish the huge Irn Bru Neon sign on Renfield St was still there. Obviously not Ba Bru but the clock / strongman successor that replaced it. Great view down that street from the bright lights of the Odeon. In fact I like Neon and lit signage generally if done well. It's as much architecture to me as structures are. Some rather dull daytime streetscapes in cities like Tokyo become fabulous at night.
 

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You guys can't handle the truth!!!

The 1993 line up was far superior.

bu**er, my first attempt at an imgur image (post photobucket fiasco) won't work.

All I can say is why can't we pick our own colors?



still not working - will try the image thingy Charlie mentioned just mentioned on another thread

In the meantime here's another 1993 cracker

'You're acting like a fuc**ng first year thief. I'm acting like a professional'
 

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I like silver birch but it has to be in the right context- they can be very beautiful.But in my head I associate them with the self-seeded scrubby edges of railway embankments and other marginalised pockets of wasteland ( they quite like boggy ground).
London Plane Trees are majestic if allowed to grow properly and very resilient to the ravages of the urban environment. The Planes in the lower half of Sauchiehall St will always be dwarf-like since their rootballs are very restricted. Talking to an expert about the new additions at the top end of the street - he had the same reservations- the trees will never reach full canopy because the tree pits are restricted and no room for lateral root growth. I just hope the new trees are properly protected and can avoid becoming strangled by xmas lights year-round and those horrible grey transformer boxes cable-tied to the branches.
If you need quick growth then silver birches are well in front. Apart from eucalyptus (hey why not? they'd be ripper and people would stick stuffed toy Koalas in them for a laugh) few trees grow as fast as birches. But they need managing/pruning to get a decent shape and they shed a lot of twigs.

Personally there's nothing finer than a weatherbeaten old Scots pine (and I would say that even if I were Welsh....) and wish there were more in parks and such - although I acknowledge it is entirely unsuitable for street lining. The sort that grow semi horizontally are magical for wee kids as climbing frames.
 

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Does GCC have its own tree nursery? I know some cities do. I think it's a good idea not just to save cash etc but the existence of it creates a pipeline that forces the council to find places to stick the fu**ers.
 

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Bless them. Yeah the Evening News in Edinburgh underwent a strange Damascene conversion when they suddenly realised the trams weren't going away and people actually liked them. It was quite dramatic. One week they were renting quotes from a retired engineer who said trams were unnecessary and some guy whose vaping shop had been ruined by the works and the next, they were clambering 'on board!'

Better late than never.
 

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I agree the multi-architect townhouses would offer something really interesting. I love the self-build district they have in Amsterdam (forgotten the name) which is full of all sorts of random eccentricity - within some basic guidelines. I really wish we had something like that over here as an exemplar for self-build.
 

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Real lack of integrated thinking.
Trees are the one thing that would soften out the dull, repetitive, corporate streetscape.
Stating the obvious I know but there's that and just generally good quality, well-maintained (ie clean/litter free/coherent approach to street clutter and furniture) public realm. You might have some bogging or anonymous architecture - and I can think of plenty of places I've been to in Netherlands or Germany or even sometimes in UK or whatever that tick those boxes - but when it's decent and looked after, those areas can still at least feel a bit more civilized and human in a 'people live here and look after it' kind of way.

Having a reasonably consistent approach also kind of knits buildings and places together somewhat. A lot of realm improvements seem to select materials and approach ad hoc - so you end up with odd approaches to street furniture here and a different set of paving there. I'm not wanting OCD consistency - there's obviously reasons to vary approaches - but at least historically it feels the approach has been overly random and gimicky approaches that don't age especially well have been used. That said, I do get feeling the gimmickyness has diminished in favour of more lasting approaches.
 

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The avenues should remedy that, if they ever actually make it off the page. The redone portion of Sauchiehall street is now pretty nice to sit on
I sat there with a coffee today and very nice it was too! Through for some work. My only gripe was there seemed to be an awful lot of pigeon shit everywhere under the trees. I don't think the pigeons roost there - they're cliff birds adapted to towns. Maybe the streetcleaning machines can't get into the tree areas?
 

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I agree with Steppish it's inevitably more **** up than conspiracy. No one is against trees and at times when the right consultant is talking or report page is open, then yes, it's 'we need trees!'. But then stuff gets lost in a swamp of officials and sub-contractors and amends for this reason and that. And in the scheme of things, it's so not the sort of thing that matters to electability and press coverage. Until something becomes normal, it probably relies on a few individuals who really get the the value to keep banging the drum.

Apropos of nothing.....I remember my mate Russell form Glenrothes saying they had an urban myth that when Glenrothes was being built someone mistakenly added a zero to the tree order and they had to plant the fuckers everywhere.
 

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The Japanese might disagree about evergreens and esp pines. I think scots pines are a nice part of the toolkit. Especially in areas where a strip of land or small plot is having a few trees added and mixing in a few pines suddenly gives the whole area a more natural feel than stickinmg to a single or similar species. Where I've seen that, they add something quite different to the overal feel. Different matter in ornamental rows or v structured settings - where I'd agree with Roddy. Although again, the Japanese can show how 'tamed wild nature' looks incredibly beautiful. Alas, we'd never maintain the trees properly enough to achieve what they do!
 
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