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I'd like to see the Selfridges site CPO'd from its delinquent owners and turned into the city centre's third public square, with the design competition open only to Scottish practices - Keppie and Sasan Bell excluded.
:lol:

Thats actually a great idea. I would get the people who did Rottenrow gardens at Strathclyde uni to do it. May be possible to retain some parts of the buildings there and turn them into sculptures or something - I love those old ceramic glazed bricks that seem to be quite common down there. A nice public square down there would be great.

Sadly it'll probably remain in its current form until I start going grey.
 

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Finally somebody's taking notice of the condition of our streets. Have to agree that Byres Rd is particularly bad. And the top end of Sauchiehall Street is shocking, the pavements have crumbled and the council don't repair them. Would have thought Byres Rd would have been upgraded a long time ago with similar granite materials to the city centre.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/disastrous_broken_teeth_streets_force_city_shoppers_away_1_1939221
I agree with a lot of what he has to say (re. pedestrianisation), but some of it is quite frankly shite.

To say that Byres ROad is an environment where people don't want to be is not true. I think the issue driving people away from the city high streets is more to do with poor retail offering stemming from internet retailing and supermarkets rather than scrappy pavements.
 

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As there is a chance that the statues will be moved from George Square, where would you put them and why?

I'd put Victoria and Albert on their horses, facing each other, at the entrance to the Kelvingrove Museum. I'd also install a fountain either side as shown, with seating around them. I think that would finish off the front (rear?) of the Kelvingrove.



Sir Walter Scott on his pedestal, perhaps in the centre of St Enoch Square? It could be seen from the top of Buchanan Street, and from the other side of the river.



Any ideas for the rest? Is there still a police museum in Glasgow? (If not, why not) Robert Peel could of course be in front of that.
That St Enochs square mock up is genius. This needs to be done.

Don't know about the Kelvingrove one. Personally i think it would be better to use the statues more strategically in architecturally deprived areas. What about the new park thats going in on the Selfridges site? Or, even better, if we ever get our dream of making a park in front of the Royal infirmary.

More of the mock ups please!
 

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Its actually like a bit of an epiphany this realising that the statues in George Square could be used to make other areas look amazing. Do we think there is a real possibility that it could happen or would there be too much kickback?
 

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Slightly off topic, but i came across an article on the BBC today about a £460,000 'arts project' that built a football park in a forest for a single game -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-19814697

http://www.creativescotland.com/explore/2012-2014/london-2012-cultural-olympiad/forest-pitch

Honest to ****, who green lit this?? Spend half a million improving public realm in Glasgow where millions of people will benefit from it rather than this self indulgent pretentious wank.

I really despair sometimes.
 

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i'm reading lots of bad publicity recently on creative scotlands actions on funding issues lately
Me too Mo. I know people who were partially involved in the consultation and setting up process and they very much predicted a disaster.

It basically boils down to the great and the good deciding what passes for art and deserves funding. Absolutely no hope for cutting edge artists coming from the left field.

Half a million for a piece of conceptual wankery that 30 people* will get to enjoy is a scandal.

*sorry, I forgot that 1000 people can log in and watch the game online. :bash:
 

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Absolutely cracking piece by Will Hutton in the Guardian about the privatisation of public realm. He could have been writing specifically about Glasgow in this piece (with regards to BG and the ISFD).

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/16/retail-development-public-access-planning

Give us back our public spaces so we can have access to all areas

Places such as London's Canary Wharf would be more vibrant if we weren't so restricted in what we can do there

Canary Wharf is a daring development: more bankers now work in its offices than in the City of London. It has, with the Olympic Park, pulled London's centre of gravity decisively eastwards. It is a tribute to modernity and boldness alike. But very few people I know like working there.

You surface from the gloriously expansive tube station to be dwarfed by a cluster of skyscrapers and inhumanly high towers, which strangely don't seem to have any pride in themselves like those in New York. The shops in the underground shopping walkways gleam and glimmer and are full of tempting merchandise. It is all as it must have been in the architect's drawings; it has taken me a long time to understand why I don't feel drawn to any of it .

The reason, it became clearer on a recent visit, is that Canary Wharf possesses so little public space. Nothing is held in common. It is a "non-place", whose lack of heart is brutally exposed at weekends and at night, when it empties. Privatisation and the values of the transactional, anonymised market have been taken too far. It is a dystopian present foretelling a more dystopian future.

Commercial developers behind the likes of Canary Wharf – the pioneer of vast, privately controlled spaces since emulated in the shopping centres of Liverpool One and Bristol's Cabot Circus – want to reduce public space as much as they can. They want to be free to configure where we walk, what we visit and who has access because thus they can maximise sales per square foot of shopping and rents.

Public space costs money twice over: it has to be paid for by taxes (and we know many corporations do their utmost to avoid tax) and public space represents lost revenue. In a world in which everything has to be consecrated to "wealth generation", providing a critical mass of public space that can be used for multiple public and social uses has been a burden too far in almost all recent large-scale urban regeneration projects throughout the country.

It is a crisis of the public realm – linked by a golden thread to the G8 meeting in Northern Ireland this weekend. Governments for the first time – prompted, to his credit, by David Cameron – are to agree to swap information about who is behind the fictional companies that populate the world's tax havens. It is a tremulous assertion of the public interest against the tax-evading super-rich, but the tiny nature of the step and the lack of agreement to go further is part of the same mindset that concedes property developers should shape our country with only token genuflections to the need for public space. In this conception, "wealth generation" is a wholly private affair and "wealth generators" must have what they want whether on tax rules or planning regulations.

But to win the argument, there has to be an accompanying passion to revive the idea of publicness and challenge the super-rich head-on that the private world that they are creating is utterly barren. Non-places such as Canary Wharf in which to work, gated communities in which to live, and segregated private schools in which to educate their children – none is good to society in the round. Wealth generation with no sense of publicness is only wealth generation in name.

Anna Minton, in her wonderfully crusading book Ground Control, inveighs against the privatisation of public space and the whittling down of any voice that seeks to assert how our towns and cities should be lived in. Local government's power has been gutted by virtually eliminating its capacity to raise local taxes, and doubly gutted by the persistent reduction within planning law of any concept that land or space should be held in common for public or social purpose. Minton's particular bete noire is the obscure 2004 Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act, which allows for economic wellbeing alone justifying compulsory purchase.

She warmly endorses the ideas of the Danish urbanist Jan Gehl. In his Cities for People, Gehl insists that the key to enjoyable city living is the chance to interact and that everything – in particular where you can walk – should help the pleasures of accidental encounters with others. That in turn needs public space – squares and pavements that are free for everyone rather than policed by private security guards. And it needs well-resourced, engaged municipal authorities, backed by planning law, to argue on level terms with private developers that such space is an imperative for a development to go ahead.

A virtue of capitalism is that it allows scope for insurgents with new ideas to challenge incumbents, but today's privately owned mega shopping malls are organised physically so that incumbents have all the advantages. Only they can afford the rents and we shoppers are corralled into using them because there is no possibility of chancing upon the new and unexpected.

One of the delights of Brighton's Lanes or Oxford's covered market is the possibility of escaping the tyranny of the shopping chains. You can go there just to hang out, shop, eat, browse or go for a stroll – and in this environment there is a chance to encounter the new shop, pub or restaurant. The insurgent is on level terms with the incumbent. Minton quotes many European architects who despair at our impoverished, weak municipal authorities unable to deliver such a social and public ethos compared with those in Europe: the Swiss, hardly tribunes of the left, have a strong civic tradition and fabulous livable cities. Why can't we?

Maybe we are at a turning point. It is still too easy for businessmen and bankers to climb on to a public platform and complain that the burden of regulation and taxation is what holds them back – and which is too uncritically heard across the political spectrum. Yet the UK has one of the lowest corporation taxes in the G8, lowest labour market regulations in the EU and weakest planning system in the OECD. It has got us nowhere.

But now a Tory prime minister is trying to close down tax avoidance – and revive our high streets, another casualty of the privatisation of our public space. It is time to do this more wholeheartedly. Britain can do better than be a land fit for the owners of Westfield and Canary Wharf. It can be a place we want to live in; where we go to the city because we want to go to the city – not just to shop. The Victorians built great parks and civic spaces with great pride, openly revolting against the depredations of free market capitalism. They also paid their taxes. Time for us to follow suit.
 

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The wee stretch of park between Gibson St and Great Western Road could really do with a bit of TLC. It has a lot of potential but currently feels like a bit of a no mans land.
 

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The cafe is actually pretty high quality. Only downside is that its next to the play park so its often full of weans screaming and west-end yummy mummy types (not all bad i suppose).

Fantastic news regarding the upgrades. As Charlie says it is a truly world class park. I always subconsciously compare it with other parks i visit round the world and its still my favourite.
 

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Buchanan Street was glorious today.

New outdoor coffee shop outside the old borders with loads of seating. Loads of buskers, restaurants and tourists milling about.

What a great flagship street!
 

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In Barcelona they have teams of people out every night in little washer carts scrubbing every inch of the city clean. It's the only way to keep on top of high-traffic areas.

Agree with all the comments, some of the streets are filthy and the bins at Glasgow Green hadn't been emptied in a while so they were overflowing and spilling crap everywhere.
 

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Buchanan Street - again, just dreadful. It is actually looking quite shoddy at the moment but the circus goes on and it's now a frustrating place to go shopping. If the out of town shopping centres were equally as convenient for me to visit - as I'm sure it is for a large portion of people in Glasgow - then I would go there instead.

The outdoor seating should be binned. It's a shopping street and needs the space. At the moment around 1/3 to 1/2 of the length of the street has restaurant seating taking up half the width. This also extends to the pedestrianised part of Gordon Street.

The buskers - and I agree with an earlier comment that a lot of them are terrible - are also becoming a pain. If it's a person and a guitar then fair enough, but there is often an act where the crowd takes up a huge amount of space around the Buchanan Street / Gordon Street junction. Today that act was a guy blowing up a rubber glove he stretched over his head.

Shopping seems to be secondary in the thoughts of whoever allows this. It's our busiest street and needs the space for people to walk without all of this nonsense going on. Otherwise the prospect of time at a soulless shopping centre becomes just that bit more appealing.
I'm afraid I couldn't disagree with you more. Why should it just be a shopping street? I've not bought anything on Buchanan Street for at least a year, so should I be using it? I personally like walking down the street when its busy taking in all the sights and seeing people enjoying socialising over a meal.

Long may it continue
 

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Cool. I'll be the one in the pink carnation with my **** out.



Looking forward to it though, if it's like today, it'll be sweet!!

I'll be the one gazing at my feet avoiding eye contact with everyone and telling anyone who will listen how they were better live when they were still at Stow....Oh wait....that'll be 98% of people there.

Seriously though, the weather is supposed to be great and I've got the day after off work. I'm hoping for stars of track and field for the encore.

Any word on support?
 

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Precisely. But folk have made the steps their place to sit- the sedentary equivalent of desire lines...even unto the fascist front of the GRCH (which I've grown to like)- they belong to the people of Glasgow. Public realm that actually works, even if by accident. So what will they do? Trash it. Ditto Broomielaw. Gap sites that could be 'greened' and sat upon litter the city- how about the Wilson Street/Candleriggs junction?
Yup, its actually staggering when you think about it how little dedicated 'hanging about' space there is in Glasgow. Copenhagen, Helsinki, London, Barcelona etc all have little micro parks dotted all over the city centre with nice trees, benches, the odd cafe....For the dear green place there is a remarkable lack of greenery in the city centre.

Helsinki has loads of these bad boys across the town.



 

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There's a 'builiding' (/reddish blob) into the major gap site, sir. Thats about as much as i can manage. I also added a wee revolving restaurant to my stockwell square! :lol:

Jesus, that more than enough time wasted on this i think.
Can you add in Candleriggs Chaz?
 

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This project cost £3.5m. Obviously the tarmac surface now looks like shit after four winters, but what about the rest of it? Is the sunken landscaped area still well-kept and do the lights still work?
Ironically, real vegetation, trees, plants, flowers etc lasts almost a lifetime, looks better and costs **** all.
 

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I'm all for outdoor eating drinking. Brings some life to the place.

You never think 'look at all this dreadful privatisation' when you are abroad sitting in a little Spanish square with outdoor bars and restaurants so why here?

I'd actually go further and allow proper street food vendors to pitch up in town.
 
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