A plan to re-populate Glasgow city centre by transforming the streets into liveable neighbourhoods has been drawn up.

The ambition is for a new city centre by 2050 with a series of changes from now until then.

It aims to transform the city streets from a place where people come to from outside to work or shop into places where people live, work and shop.

It is recognised that in the last 30 years Glasgow has moved from a city suffering the effects of post industrial decline to a dynamic diverse economy based on knowledge, retail, culture, tourism and finance.

But changing patterns of work and living and the expected legacy of the coronavirus pandemic mean further change is needed to both capitalise on the changes and react to new lifestyle patterns.

HeraldScotland:

The report states: “Globally, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the vibrancy of city centres. A mass shift to greater home working has temporarily removed the office-based population that once sustained the viability of shops, cafes, restaurants, gyms and other parts of the central economic ecosystem.”

Instead of city centres becoming ghost towns with empty offices and shops no one visits the plan is to have people living and working there.

More people living in the city centre will allow some retail to be sustainable and the nighttime economy will also attract people from other areas.

HeraldScotland:

The plans include re-connecting the city centre with the surrounding communities in each direction and with the riverside.

Complementary plans for other neighbourhoods outside the city centre are also being developed to create a connected city wide plan for the future.

Over the coming years the council wants to reduce the traffic dominance on the city centre streets and remove the car dependency by creating a pedestrian and cycle friendly centre, with improved healthier and cleaner public transport.

Some of this has already started with the Avenues projects and implementing the Connectivity commission recommendations to prioritise pedestrians in a hierarchy of road and street users.

There would be more green space and more high quality public spaces for people needs .

An aim in the plan is for the city centre to be at the heart of a network of ‘20-minute neighbourhoods’, where people can meet their needs for work, shopping, services, schools, play and greenspace within a short walk or cycle from their home.

Getting more people to live in the city centre is key to the plan.

HeraldScotland:

The report states: “The city centre has the potential to accommodate more residents and evolve to include a series of vibrant, diverse and inclusive 20 minute neighbourhoods that bring life to the whole centre.

“Reclaiming public space for people and nature—such as permanently reallocating road space to pedestrians and cyclists, greening the centre and investing in nature-based solutions such as parks, green roofs for climate resilience—will ensure the city centre is a better, healthier, more attractive and more sustainable place to live and work.”

There are a number of priority issues identified to achieve the aims including:

Increase the residential population to boost a local city centre economy, with a number of diverse neighbourhoods;

More schools and healthcare services to support a growing population;

Better connect the city centre to surrounding communities, including addressing the negative impacts of the M8 corridor, which has cut of communities from the centre and from each other;

Make greater use of the riverside as a destination by better connecting it to the city centre;

And respond to the changing retail patterns as more and more shops close leaving more empty units.

Council leader Susan Aitken said: “This is a vision for 2050; but our transition to that future city centre, with a population double what it is now, has already begun.

“The framework will guide just how we establish a better, more people-focused and resilient centre over the next 30 years – an attractive place in which to live, work, study, visit and invest that can compete with any other city.

“That means creating new ’20-minute neighbourhoods’; communities within our city centre with all the services that people need close to their homes – and a green grid made up of a simplified network of streets that make it easy and enjoyable to get around.”