IF only we could snap our fingers and have the new plans for Glasgow ready and finished now - right now.

Artists impressions always make life look a level more dazzling - it's what they're there for after all - and the new images of the city's Avenues projects, £115 million of cycling infrastructure, look glorious. It's always sunny in artists impressions, which is a bit of a swizz.

It's far more rare to see pleasant weather in our drizzly city and that's one of the long running complaints about the Avenues, which seem to be a solid use of the Scottish and UK governments' City Deal money.

As mentioned, you can't please all of the people and there are relentless grumbles about the local authority trying to make Glasgow like Amsterdam when it has too many hills, and like Copenhagen when it rains all the time.

Honestly, some people will turn their nose up at anything. Yes, cycling in the rain can leave you with a day spent smelling slightly of damp, and that's not for everyone, but we have to work with what's in front of us, which includes inclement weather and inclines.

A more reasonable grumble is the pace of the Avenues project, which extends across the city centre and to the south and north west of Glasgow. It seems logical that the pandemic shut down would have been the ideal time to accelerate the work on the cycle routes and streetscape improvements. While the city centre was deserted, there might have been some cracking on with these new routes.

Central District

Central District

One of the elements of this election has been the broad similarities in manifestos. On developing a green future, only the Scottish Conservatives stood out as taking a different path. While the other four main parties looked to ideas to boost active travel and focused on public transport and cycling, the Tories suggested widening the M8 motorway, upgrading the A1 to a dual carriageway and scrapping parking charges on publicly-owned car parks.

Not to entirely do them down, they did also have some decent cycling proposals but they also had a strong focus on vehicles at a time when we need to sideline private cars for other options.

The Conservatives did make mention of introducing an extensive network of charging points. As we push towards a future where all cars are electric, infrastructure is, of course, the right way forward and the introduction of charging points is currently still too slow.

At the same time as the Scottish Tories are thinking electric, incentives for upgrading to electric cars have been slashed by their Westminster counterparts, a short sighted move exactly when the switch to electric needs to be consistently incentivised.

Central District

Central District

Manifesto-wise, the SNP spoke enthusiastically about the creation of 20-minute neighbourhoods while the Greens took it one step further - or, many steps fewer - with a claim it would focus on creating 15-minute neighbourhoods.

These are living spaces where everything you need for work, rest, education and play are within a 20 minute radius and are a new key focus of cities globally.

Active travel infrastructure and 20 minute neighbourhoods form a key role in the other major Glasgow news this week, another area where I'd like some time travel involvement. Glasgow City Council released its development plans for the next 30 years, plans which aim to contribute towards making Glasgow carbon neutral by 2045, helping post-covid recovery and creating the next incarnation of this ever-regenerating city.

In it, there are progressive, innovate ideas. There are also ideas that should have been tackled years ago. One such is the development of the riverside.

What a waste it is to have the River Clyde swelling through the city and not use it. There's little suggestions of life here and there - the two Hiltons at Finnieston, the Riverside Museum, the BBC's headquarters and the under construction Barclays campus all hint at what might be.

Renfrew and Killermont

Renfrew and Killermont

On those rare bright days, the banks of the Clyde behind St Andrew's Cathedral are jam-packed with sun seekers lounging on the grass, making the most of the view. Every other day it's grey and glass strewn along an incoherent cycle path, quiet but for the high-vis of police vests as officers attend to day drinkers and graffiti artists.

Making the most of the river is one element of plans to make the city more liveable. Another is, of course, cutting down car use - yet another issue that meets relentless, grumbling resistance.

Why you would opt for city living where everything is in walking distance and be determined to park a car immediately outside your flat I cannot fathom.

But you do have to wonder what it will take to ease people's resistance to greener, healthier measures for the city. The evidence of the dangers of inaction are already there.

Last month a coroner in England called for a change in the law following the death Ella Adoo-Kis-Debrah, who died in 2013 in Lewisham, south-east London. An inquest found air pollution had "made a material contribution" to her death, making the nine-year-old the first person to have air pollution listed as the cause of death on their death certificate.

River Park

River Park

The month before, the EU's highest court ruled that the UK "persistently" exceeded legal limits for nitrogen dioxide over the past 10 years and has failed in its legal duties to reduce air pollution limits. The British Medical Association has described air pollution as a public health emergency.

Glasgow city centre hosts some of the highest nitrogen dioxide levels in the country, with Renfield and Hope Streets particular hotspots, along with the Anderston area where the M8 motorway runs next to a primary school.

As a result of the pandemic, we know the effect of a reduction in vehicles in the city centre. Air pollution levels dropped to their lowest since 2014 due to fewer cars being on the roads.

Argle Street Avenue

Argle Street Avenue

Glasgow has had its many incarnations and it's overdue another, one focused on equality, sustainability and green values and its residents need to keep pushing to make sure promises are delivered.

It's never going to be halcyon. We cannot step inside the artists impression and have a life as sharp coloured and clean as an illustration. We can, though, look to the future with ambition as these new plans do, and embrace change come rain or shine.