Glasgow approves 30-year city centre development framework



A Strategic Development Framework (SDF) that will guide the development of Glasgow city centre over the next 30 years has been approved today by the local authority.

The framework’s vision for Glasgow city centre in 2050 is that it will be a place that is vibrant, inclusive, sustainable and liveable - a green, walkable city centre that is people-centred, climate-resilient, fosters creativity and opportunity and promotes social cohesion, health and wellbeing and economic prosperity.

To achieve this vision, six ambitions have been identified to make the city centre more vibrant, liveable, connected, green and resilient:

  • Reinforce the centre’s economic competitiveness;
  • Re-populate the centre and ensure liveable and sustainable neighbourhoods that promote health, wellbeing and social cohesion;
  • Reconnect the centre with surrounding communities and its riverside;
  • Reduce traffic dominance and car dependency and create a pedestrian and cycle friendly centre, with improved public transport, that is healthier and cleaner;
  • Green the centre and make it climate resilient with a network of high quality public spaces and green-blue infrastructure that caters for a variety of human and climatic needs; and
  • Repair, restore and enhance the urban fabric to reconnect streets and reinforce the city’s distinctive heritage and character.

The increase in the population of the future city centre will bring it greater life, activity, and community, and will ensure a greater blend of land and building uses at a neighbourhood level - as well as a diverse range of attractions, public and play spaces, and retail offerings - will make this increased vibrancy sustainable.

Redefining and reconnecting streets will make it easier to get around the city centre, as it will be walking, wheeling and cycling-friendly, encouraging active travel and greater accessibility, with green and blue infrastructure making the area both a healthier environment and climate-resilient.

City centre streets will not just be transport routes, but also attractive public spaces with greenery. Nature-based, innovative solutions will be used to make the city centre climate-resilient and a net zero-carbon place.

Through the City Centre SDF, improved connections will reconnect the River Clyde to the city centre, and a strategy will be developed for night-time accessibility and safe travel to support the night-time economy - a key attraction for the area - and public safety.

The final version of the City Centre SDF was informed by the views of those taking part in a public consultation in 2019, who identified their priorities for this key part of Glasgow’s social, cultural and economic life. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated some trends in office, retail and other uses that were already underway, and the SDF’s contents reflect this.

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “This is a vision for 2050; but our transition to that future city centre, with a population double what it is now, has already begun. The framework will guide just how we establish a better, more people-focused and resilient centre over the next 30 years - an attractive place in which to live, work, study, visit and invest that can compete with any other city. That means creating new ‘20-minute neighbourhoods’: communities within our city centre with all the services that people need close to their homes - and a green grid made up of a simplified network of streets that make it easy and enjoyable to get around.”

The City Centre Strategic Development Framework, which can be understood as a document which identifies key priorities, design principles, connections and strategic relationships to guide the development of an area, can be found here. The City Centre SDF sits alongside the council’s City Centre Strategy and the regeneration frameworks for the nine city centre districts.

This SDF will now be submitted to the Scottish Government for consideration, and if no significant modifications are proposes, it will be adopted as supplementary guidance for Glasgow’s City Development Plan. The City Development Plan informs all planning and land use regeneration decisions in Glasgow.



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