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Glasgow's George Square must be redesigned for all to enjoy

IT appears to us that the redevelopment of Glasgow's George Square should have one main purpose; the creation of a place for everyone to enjoy ("Demand for public vote on future of George Square", The Herald, January 10, and Letters, January 11).

This is best guaranteed by putting inclusive design at the heart of the square's redevelopment.

Inclusive design is not about extra features for special interest groups, but about realising that human beings come in all shapes and sizes, ages and abilities. Civic spaces, with inclusive design at their core, are places which everyone is able to enjoy and get the most out of their surroundings. George Square should be one of those places.

The current plan for the redevelopment of George Square is an exciting opportunity to see inclusive design incorporated into the heart of civic architecture.

But whatever design is chosen to redevelop the square, we must ensure that it is developed for all: benches that are easy to reach and comfy to sit on; features that are great to look at but not a hazard for people with any impairment; and pedestrian crossings that give you time to cross. The greatest square in the world is all very well but not a lot of use if you can't get to it safely. These issues may not be the most exciting part of urban design but they are fundamental to inclusive use and should not, therefore, be overlooked.

Catharine Ward Thompson,

Professor of Landscape Architecture, Director, OPENspace research centre

Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh;

Professor Marcus Ormerod,

Director, SURFACE Inclusive Design Research Centre University of Salford;

Rita A Newton,

SURFACE Inclusive Design Research Centre, University of Salford.

I NOTE with interest the letter from Duncan MacIntyre about the removal of the Crum fountain from George Square (Letters, January 5). As a relation of the Crums, I too had been concerned about the whereabouts of the Crum fountain. As a result of my inquiries, it was moved into a secure store in November last year and I have received photographs showing it to be well protected.

Like Mr MacIntyre, I had been disappointed that it had been removed from George Square but I have been advised that this was for its own protection in preparation for the upcoming work in the square. The plans are currently under consultation and the fountain may well be returned to the square as there will always be a need for a public water supply available to visitors. I am in touch with Glasgow City Council concerning this and will certainly continue to campaign for its inclusion in the new layout. It is important for Glasgow to be seen to be honouring the conditions of gifts of popular things like this, otherwise people in future will not feel like being so generous.

Nigel Willis,

Nervelstone,

Lochwinnoch.

WHEN Glasgow councillors go abroad with their families – or even when they look at the glossy holiday brochures when planning their trip – are they attracted mainly by the tradition and antiquity of the place or by the modern paving or the spurty little fountains? Statues, cobbles, horse carriage rides, gardens, trees, seating – and even the occasional fountain – feature amongst the items I enjoy seeing as a tourist. The plans seem to be simply clearing large areas for the city council to hire out to proprietors of Christmas markets, Hogmanay bashes and ice skating. Is that what Glaswegians want?

Terry McGeary,

108 Carnegie Hill,

The Murray, East Kilbride.

AS a child in the early 1960s, it was a treat to be taken to George Square to soak up the peaceful atmosphere and enjoy the trees and flowers, particularly in spring time when the hyacinths coloured and perfumed the square.

George Square was indeed a dear green space within the Dear Green Place. In these hurdy-gurdy days of noise and pollution, the decision on its future ought to let it revert to being an elegant, beautiful and uplifting heart of Glasgow, where we can all find some peace, and smell the hyacinths.

Ruth Marr,

99 Grampian Road,

Stirling.

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