Designs for Glasgow's first Liveable Neighbourhoods are beginning to emerge following initial feedback from two communities in the north and south of the city.
Based on the 20-minute neighbourhood concept that becoming increasingly popular in cities around the world, the council's Liveable Neighbourhoods plan is seeking to ensure residents all across Glasgow can access key services in their local area within 20 minutes by active travel or public transport. The ultimate aim is to reduce the number vehicle journeys in the city as part of the wider effort to tackle the carbon emissions that fuel climate change.
Initial consultation with residents for Liveable Neighbourhoods in Ruchill to Cowlairs and Langside to Toryglen has led to a wide range of proposals that would adjust the lay-out of local streets to make them more attractive places to spend time and encourage higher levels of walking, wheeling and cycling.
Residents and local groups from both areas, which include Ruchill, Hamiltonhill, Possilpark, Port Dundas and Cowlairs in the north and Langside, Mount Florida, Battlefield, Kings Park and Toryglen in the south, were invited to share their local knowledge on a range of issues affecting public spaces in their communities.
Problems with everything from obstructive barriers and fast-moving roads to difficult junctions and derelict land were all identified and this helped to generate broad proposals for a total of 28 potential projects across both Liveable Neighbourhood areas. These proposals included measures such as traffic calming, improved footpaths, introducing planters and public seating, creating parklets, traffic filters that prioritise active travel, junction redesign and reactivating disused land among others.
With 28 Liveable Neighbourhoods due to be created across Glasgow, Councillor Anna Richardson sees the work already undertaken for Ruchill to Cowlairs and Langside to Toryglen as a hugely significant step forward.
Cllr Richardson said: "It's fantastic to see plans for the first two Liveable Neighbourhoods starting to take shape. The input from residents and community groups has been invaluable and has really helped to identify the specific issues that affect people as they move around their local area.
"But perhaps more importantly, local consultation has been crucial for setting out the possibilities for each neighbourhood so they become places where active travel is a positive choice for residents. Fairly simple measures like a new pedestrian crossing or reducing the flow of traffic can make a big difference to how people use their local spaces and will help to improve the quality of life for those living on those streets.
"When added all together the individual proposals for each Liveable Neighbourhood area start to have a wider significance. Making walking, wheeling or cycling the first choice for local journeys will reduce our reliance on vehicles and cut into the carbon emissions that have created the climate emergency.
"We are still in the early stages of the Liveable Neighbourhoods project, but we want to move as quickly as possible. Having 20-minute neighbourhoods all across Glasgow will create a better balance between vehicles and people on our streets with the potential to stimulate higher levels of footfall and interest in local town centres. The Liveable Neighbourhoods programme is a vital component of our overall transport strategy."
The proposals will now go forward for more detailed work on the design of each individual projects, which will help to develop costings for the work.
Further consultation work has already begun on Liveable Neighbourhoods for Dennistoun to Carntyne and Govan to Kingston. Existing working on the Yorkhill and Kelvingrove Cycling Village is also being reviewed to ensure it fits with the principles of the Liveable Neighbourhood for the Yorkhill to Anderston area.
Other areas in line for Liveable Neighbourhoods development are:
Future phases of Liveable Neighbour development that cover other parts of the city will be announced in due course.
An initial business case for the first four Liveable Neighbourhood areas indicates the programme will deliver an estimated benefit of £265m for the city, which is 5 to 13 times greater than early estimates on the potential investment needed for the proposed projects in each neighbourhood.
Full details of the papers presented to committee are available through this link.