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Place Commission to design a better Glasgow

A Place Commission for Glasgow – an independent look at how Glasgow can design its places to put people first, make the city a better place for all to live in, and prepare for future changes as best it can – was launched in September.

The Place Commission, to be led by Glasgow’s City Urbanist, Professor Brian Evans, was launched during the final day of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) conference on City Living.

Alongside Professor Evans on the Place Commission will be experts from a variety of related fields, each with an interest in the topics to be considered.  These independent commissioners are: Ann Allen (Chair, Architecture and Design Scotland); Jude Barbour, Director/Architect at Collective Architecture; Dr Linda de Caestecker, Director of Public Health, NHSGGC; Charles Campion, Partner, JTP (Architects and Urbanists); Kevin Kane, Executive Director, Glasgow Economic Leadership; Professor Carol Tannahill, Director, Glasgow Centre for Population Health; Rachel Tennant, Chair of Landscape Institute Scotland, and Dr Brian Veitch, Consulting Engineer and Former Director, ARUP.

The Place Commission for Glasgow can be seen as an ongoing conversation with the city’s communities, developers, designers and other partners to consider how the built environment can best respond to and serve the new ways in which we live, work and travel – to create a better quality of place for the people of Glasgow.

Over the course of the next year, the Place Commission will meet to discuss how this can happen, with three main themes framing the discussions – the Everyday City (how we experience the city as residents, workers, business people, or visitors); the Metropolitan City (recognising the interdependence between Glasgow and the rest of the Clyde Valley); and the International City (considering Glasgow’s place on the international stage).

The Commission also welcomes new ideas from creative thinkers that can help a design-based approach to the built environment create better places for people in Glasgow.

The recommendations of the Place Commission will be made in Autumn 2020.

Professor Brian Evans, Glasgow’s City Urbanist, said: “This is a great opportunity to hold a big conversation about Glasgow, its region, communities and places.

“Working within the context of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Scottish Government’s ‘Place Principle’, we will be looking to evidence how integrated action in respect of demographic, climate and technological change can, when designed around people, improve the quality of peoples’ lives and their places.”

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow is a city still very much in transition, one which is barely recognisable from the post-industrial Glasgow of just a couple of decades ago.

“The physical transformation of so many of our neighbourhoods, our riverside, parts of the east end and the ongoing work at Sighthill and the city centre through the Avenues project is testament to that change.

“But with still much to do I’m delighted that a panel of such esteemed independent experts can help support our city’s development as a people-focused city which is s a great place to live, work and visit. 

“We also face changes – from how we adopt to the climate emergency to the impact of technological advancement. The findings of the Place Commission will guide how we prepare for these changes and develop a Glasgow that can continue to prosper in the future – whilst taking our people with us.”

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