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None of the redesign options for George Square is sufficiently enriching

THE touching comments by Robert Louis Stevenson, past president of the Glasgow and District Burns Association, on the result of the possible loss of the Burns statue from George Square to the association adds weight to any criticism regarding the whole process of decision-making regarding the square (Letters, January 17).

I am sure it is no more than an interesting coincidence that the figure of £15 million required to be saved from the council's education services is identical to the figure it has budgeted for the George Square redesign ("Union anger at £15m cuts to council's education budget", The Herald, January 17).

I dutifully studied the six designs on display at the Lighthouse last week. However, I noticed there was something missing there and not obvious on the council website relating to the brief consultation. I was under the impression that when potential design solutions were evaluated one did so against the original design brief which the designers worked to. I was beginning to feel this document had been somehow suppressed, but I eventually found it buried in a council executive committee paper of September 13, 2012, under agenda item four.

The design brief summaries its main points in para 3.4 as:

"Key challenges will require to be met in a short timescale and these are set out in the appended design brief. However the overarching objectives of the proposal are that:

l The redesign must reinforce the role of George Square as Glasgow's primary urban space;

l It must celebrate the creativity of the city and its people;

l It must create a day and night environment in which the citizens of Glasgow and visitors alike are able to socialise freely;

l It must provide a context in which a range of organised activities, large and small, can occur during all seasons;

l It must create an urban space of outstanding design quality;

l It must create a world-class tourist destination."

Having considered these design objectives against the square as it currently exists – and ticked all the boxes – I have difficulty in agreeing that any of the six submissions provides sufficient enrichment to justify such an expensive sacrifice.

Bill Brown,

46 Breadie Drive, Milngavie.

THERE is a campaign for option seven for the redesign of George Square in Glasgow. It talks of restoring the square to "its former grassy glory". I am an artist and landscape designer and would like to see a truly green option among the designs, notable for their use of hard landscaping, which dates quickly, and water, as if we don't have enough.

If ever there was a time to restore the Dear Green Place it is surely now. Environmentally friendly, people friendly, yes even wildlife friendly: a modern-tree filled park would return the centre of Glasgow to the people's affections.

It can be done. Consider St Andrew Square in Edinburgh, the best of the London squares, and New York's tiny parks.

Freda Milller,

5 Swedish Houses,

Ardentinny,

Argyll.

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Local government

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