It’s been great to see the buzz around Glasgow as the European Championships brought another major international event to the city. Alongside the sport we had two weeks of world class culture in George Square; which was temporarily closed to traffic. On the back of that - Glasgow City Council are now considering permanently closing the square to traffic and and are running a consultation until the 24th Sept to see what people think.
We’re really excited to see that the Council are looking at this idea - George Square is a wonderful centre point to the City and we believe removing traffic from the area would massively enhance the experience of the area for residents and visitors alike.
Pedestrianisation would be a great step in challenging the air pollution issues facing the city centre; it would create a wealth of cultural opportunities and enhance the experience of pedestrians and cyclists moving around the city centre - it would be the perfect focal point for a Glasgow National Park City!
Below is the letter we've sent as part of the consultation. We'd encourage you to get involved too:
The newly formed Glasgow National Park City Group is working to improve people’s quality of life and the environment through the creation of Glasgow National Park City.
The aims of a National Park City are:
To encourage residents and visitors to better enjoy, understand and care for National Park Cities
Protect and enhance our urban natural and cultural heritage
Foster the wellbeing of our communities
Inspire individuals, groups and organisations to share and act towards these aims
Aligned to these aims we are delighted to hear that the Council is considering making permanent the successful dedication of George Square to pedestrians and cultural events that we enjoyed during the European Championships.
In Glasgow, as in all cities, there is a challenging balance needed between high quality transport links, the needs of businesses, the health and wellbeing of residents and the experience of people in moving about and enjoying the city.
We believe that the pedestrianisation of George Square offers immense opportunities:
Promoting active transport by offering pedestrians and cyclists increased freedom to move safely through the city away from the worst air pollution exposure
Demonstrating the scope to accommodate world class cultural events within the City Centre
Enhancing economic activity in the vicinity of George Square as evidenced by the well-documented case studies of similar public space initiatives in large cities: - Times Square - New York City’s creates 11% of the city’s economic output and 10% of its jobs. The district’s $110bn of economic activity went up by 22% since 2007, outpacing city growth by 9% during the period during which it was pedestrianised. - London’s Oxford Circus Diagonal helped stimulate a 25% increase in the turnover of its adjacent stores
At a time when city centres are under increased pressure, it’s more important than ever that we rethink our urban centres as places that visitors want to come to and create public spaces where people want to meet, socialise and enjoy shared cultural experiences.
We think a pedestrianised George Square would be perfect focal point for a Glasgow National Park City, in which Glasgow takes a lead in rethinking greener, healthier, culturally vibrant city centres for the future and we strongly support the proposal.