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.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!
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?)....