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Gorgeous George?

THERE is no shortage of fancy design in the six submissions for the George Square project.

But the human element is in short supply.

The plaza is a place for people-watching. "Going for a paseo", as they say in Spain. "Hingin' aboot", as we say in Glasgow. A place to absorb rays, if there is an outbreak of warm weather. Dejeuner sur l'herbe, should the city fathers put some grass and trees back in. Coffee or an aperitif after work in the Grand Café, under cover if (if?) wet.

(No cans of super lager, please. There will be Greggs and Wetherspoon's for the hoi polloi.)

But George Square is for circuses as well as bread. Time for an architectural clear-out, creating space for concerts, the occasional opera, and a big marquee for art shows. And for protestful public meetings, with room for tanks to be deployed.

The biggest improvement would be replacing the ugly brown box-like building in the northeast corner with something magnificently Victorian.

At the same time, cull the old statues. Come on down, Sir Walter Scott! It will be like Big Brother as Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and William Gladstone are evicted from the square. Sir John Moore leaves without a funeral note. I would keep Robert Burns and James Watt and add Billy Connolly.

The square would be pedestrianised with one lane of slow traffic going east and one west. This means more room for pavement cafés and green grun.

The idea of a reflected surface with people walking on water won't work, not in the shadow of the City Chambers, though the concept of a subtle tartan motif underfoot is appealing.

But first we must identify the city council people responsible for the present red tarmac – and make sure they have no say in decisions on the 21st-century George Square.

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