Newsletter - Links - Advertise - Contact Us - Privacy

Glasgow announces measures to double city centre population by 2035

November 20 2019

Glasgow announces measures to double city centre population by 2035

Glasgow City Council has unveiled a raft of measures designed to double the city centre population to 40,000 over the next 15 years as part of its draft City Centre Living Strategy.

A 10-week consultation will get underway from 29 November to explore how best to increase density, encourage development and improve amenity through initiatives such as repurposing vacant upper floor commercial space.

Attention is focused on the Clyde corridor with the intent to open up the river to development over the next 30 years by managing future flood risk and promoting placemaking by protecting existing townscapes at Govan and Partick.

Outlining the need for change, the document notes: “While the city centre is currently home to a growing figure of just over 20,000 people, Glasgow lies behind cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham in terms of the numbers living and moving to live in the centre of those cities.”

Key schemes include the Glasgow Riverside Innovation District (GRID), a planned urban quarter spanning Glasgow University, Govan and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital seek to address this imbalance.

Efforts also include the Clyde Waterfront Innovation Campus which will complement ongoing heritage repairs such as the conversion of the B-listed Lyceum Cinema into a community-owned music venue.

In tandem with this, a major programme of refurbishment has been confirmed for pre-1919 housing stock across Ibrox and Cessnock, beginning with 295 tenement properties which have been identified as being in need of urgent rehabilitation.

In 1914 there were 700,000 people living within three square miles of Glasgow Cross but the city population has dwindled since the 1950s as people migrated to new towns, peripheral estates and suburbs.


#1 Posted by David on 20 Nov 2019 at 13:32 PM
A good step in the direction but not going far enough, for a city/conurbation the size of Glasgow, containing almost half of Scotland's population, the council should be striving for a more ambitous figure of 60,000 or 70,000 for the city centre.
#2 Posted by Paul on 20 Nov 2019 at 13:44 PM
I didn't release Scotlands population was 1.2 million
#3 Posted by Epic on 20 Nov 2019 at 13:59 PM
#2 - David is talking about the "conurbation" of Glasgow - which is around 2.8 million.
# 1 - fully agree, but its a step in the right direction. Hopefully with moda living and the Old school now on the market the numbers will increase.
#4 Posted by David on 20 Nov 2019 at 14:17 PM
#2 - a city's size is not defined by political boundaries or council areas, otherwise by your logic London would be one of the smallest cities in the UK.
G Man
#5 Posted by G Man on 20 Nov 2019 at 15:13 PM
People did not migrate from Glasgow without being forced to do so, courtesy of the Westminster Invention known as the Compulsory Purchase Order. In amongst the slum blocks, many areas were cleared of amazing properties both commercial and residential within the 28 CDA's approved by the former Secretary of State for Scotland, beginning with the Gorbals in 1957, this is why the population in the city declined rapidly between 1951 and 1981. The peripheral estates no longer exist as they did, tens of thousands of homes demolished over the past 25 years as a lot of the housing was sub-standard, plus UK economics make unviable to have children if you're not in the middle class bracket and above. Future Glaswegians will be people from all over the world and not from Ireland and the Highlands as it was 100 years ago+.
Nairn's Bairn
#6 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 20 Nov 2019 at 15:38 PM
Using the levels above shops for flats has been long talked-about throughout the country, with shop landlords happy to keep them empty for some (no doubt tax-related) reason. Look up when walking through the city centre and it's dusty dark windows galore.

There is no more sustainable way to generate new homes than to use existing buildings that are near centres of employment and public transport.

If GCC can make this happen then kudos to them, and it will be an example to all.
#7 Posted by Danny on 20 Nov 2019 at 16:56 PM
Lets not forget that Thatcher annexed large portions of Glasgow in the 1980s 100K+ lost at a stroke. Scottish govt has never reversed this.
#8 Posted by brian on 20 Nov 2019 at 20:18 PM
The Scots Govt don't have the powers to boundary change.Thatcher done the damage .But its really good to see a GCC administration taking things forward,the amount of building going on around the city centre is just brlilliant.
Glasgow Bob
#9 Posted by Glasgow Bob on 20 Nov 2019 at 22:36 PM
#6 I think it's more than that. Retailers want the shopfront space and don't want any lost to flat entrances or fire exits from above. In the past it was just boarded off as inaccessible space, but could be taxed to encourage use as resi. Not airbnb though!
new Glaswegian
#10 Posted by new Glaswegian on 21 Nov 2019 at 09:13 AM
G Man's right. People didn't "migrate" to the new towns, they were deported there. And that produced the societal breakdown at the roots of many of today's problems. But the guilt doesn't entirely lie with Westminster, I'm afraid. The 1950s and 60s saw the heights of a sort of municipal vandalism that, while not completely indigenous in its ideology, was carried out enthusiastically by the local council. It wasn't Westminster who ordered bulldozing large portions of the area around the centre. Or cutting a six lane motorway through the centre of the city. The sinister landscape of suburban shopping malls half a mile from what once was the old town is a crime. A crime of urbicide against a city of a beauty that has few rivals in Britain.
G Man
#11 Posted by G Man on 21 Nov 2019 at 09:25 AM
New Glaswegian, you are correct in your statement but for the Corporation to clear Glasgow in the fashion they thought was best, it had to receive parliamentary approval, something that they never hesitated with. David Leask wrote a story about this in greater detail for the ET & Herald back in September 2002 I think it was.
Nairn's Bairn
#12 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 21 Nov 2019 at 13:03 PM
A few comments above about the urban clearances, Westminster etc.

Don't forget that at the time much of the city centre housing was essentially slum. The new towns and high rises promised a bright future; as we now know the design of the buildings and social arrangements didn't live up to expectation. But at the time it was seen by many Glaswegians as a positive step away from ruinous buildings, lack of indoor sanitary facilities, poor city centre air quality etc. Of course we now know that with rehabilitation and modernising, in the new cleaner centre, existing tenements and the like can offer high quality accommodation.

Of course shop owners want to maximise their shopfronts, but given enough incentives (tax, housing rental/sale income) this can surely be overcome. Also, a lot of city centre blocks have separate entrances to the upper floors. Let’s do it! It would also make the city centre a more vibrant and safe place at night – these areas can be pretty desolate when the daytime shoppers and workers go home.
#13 Posted by JohnMF on 22 Nov 2019 at 11:07 AM
If you want to increase city centre population, work out in advance how you are going to control fractional rental ("AirBnB" and the like), rather than responding in arrears only after this has eviscerated the city centre community, as has happened in Edinburgh.

Post your comments


All comments are pre-moderated and
must obey our house rules.


Back to November 2019

Search News
Subscribe to Urban Realm Magazine
Features & Reports
For more information from the industry visit our Features & Reports section.