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Professor Brian Evans named as Glasgow’s first city urbanist

January 24 2019

Professor Brian Evans named as Glasgow’s first city urbanist

Glasgow City Council has turned to Brian Evans, professor in urbanism and landscape at Glasgow School of Art, to perform the newly created role of city urbanist, following a manifesto pledge to appoint a new city architect.

The part-time position will see Evans serve as a bridge between the council, communities and developers in his independent role as a strategic adviser on place, design and the city over an initial three-year period.

Speaking to Urban Realm upon his appointment Evans remarked: “This is an independent position. I’m not a member, officer or employee of the city, I’m a strategic adviser on place, design and the city. I have no executive authority and don’t speak for the city, that’s the responsibility of the city leadership.

“I can speak about the city of Glasgow as opposed to Glasgow City Council. A lot of people don’t make that differentiation, but I think it’s interesting that in talking to me about the role the council make that distinction themselves.”

One of his first roles will be to help oversee the establishment of a 'place commission' for the discussion of ideas which can help shape the design of Glasgow as an international city, a metropolitan city and an everyday city – with emphasis on the latter.

Evans’ appointment follows an invitation to selected practitioners in the fields of urban design, architecture, urbanism, landscape architecture and planning.


#1 Posted by Asimov on 24 Jan 2019 at 09:15 AM
Good luck. Lots to be done.
boaby wan
#2 Posted by boaby wan on 24 Jan 2019 at 09:45 AM
yay, more hoops to jump through!
And not even tied into statute, can't wait for the lengthy consultations to begin
#3 Posted by EM0 on 24 Jan 2019 at 10:29 AM
Hallelujah !! Hopefully he fights to stop the flow of concrete jungle we are careering into again in the city !!!!
#4 Posted by CADMonkey on 24 Jan 2019 at 12:48 PM
"..... fulfilling a manifesto pledge to appoint a new city architect."
EH....not sure you can say that.
Is he a qualified or even registered architect?
John Glenday
#5 Posted by John Glenday on 24 Jan 2019 at 13:53 PM
@CADMonkey I agree, I've switched the terminology to 'following'.

I understand the intention to appoint an architect was superceded by a desire to focus on a broader range of built environment issues.
#6 Posted by Jacobsen on 24 Jan 2019 at 22:45 PM
Hopefully he can help get some buildings constructed that actually have some good design rather than generic glass and gladding exteriors. When you compare the unremarkable buildings that we have built in last 50 years to the masterpiece that were built 100+ years ago. It's the 21st century but things seem to have significantly regressed, people seem to put very little effort and pride into the design of a buildings exterior even if it would cost a little bit more. 100+ years ago people seemed to care, but we live in a post-moderist world where everyone is a winner and bad designs are considered good designs and buildings seem to be constructed for as cheap as possible with little concern how the exterior looks.
Tom Manley
#7 Posted by Tom Manley on 25 Jan 2019 at 09:26 AM
Encouraging a sense of public ownership and collective responsibility for the urban environment as well would be good - Glasgow continues to have littered streets and corners that reflect a disregard and abandonment of potential.
Rem Koolbag
#8 Posted by Rem Koolbag on 25 Jan 2019 at 11:06 AM
John, I don't think you follow CADMonkey's point, or indeed understand the legalities here.
Architect is a protected title in the UK - Brian Evans (unless he works also for Sheffield Uni estate department) is not an architect.
So the pledge to appoint a new city architect has not been fulfilled.
#9 Posted by Pleasantfield on 25 Jan 2019 at 13:31 PM
Good luck Brian. I think you will need it. As others have said its long overdue that we have more " legacy" buildings. Short termism rules as can be seen as 40 year old office blocks get replaced by others which are probably not going to last much longer.
Chris Ditchfield
#10 Posted by Chris Ditchfield on 25 Jan 2019 at 13:50 PM
He's not an architect, but plenty of qualifications, mainly in town planning related fields.
Sue Pearman
#11 Posted by Sue Pearman on 25 Jan 2019 at 13:51 PM
Unqualified landscape academic, advisory with no power. It looks like his remit will be less about improving architecture and urban form and more about landscaping, paving and street furniture. Pity!...if it is then it's another missed opportunity by GCC I think.
#12 Posted by Agadoo on 25 Jan 2019 at 14:02 PM

"Is he a qualified or even registered architect?"

What do you mean? Surely there are no such things as qualified architects in the UK, and in order to be classed as an architect one has to be registered with ARB?

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