My Dad loves the little details of old Glasgow.

Walking with me through the West End - which in many respects is another city for a man who spent his youth in the dance halls of Coatbridge and his adulthood in a printing factory on the South Side - he delights in explaining the history and imagined nostalgia for the place.

Revelling in a sense of west of Scotland, Glaswegian belonging, he describes how the tenements went from industrial revolution slum to the corniced desirables of yuppieville; distinguishes the original cobbles uncovered by a crumbling tarmac job; and reminisces about dates of yore at the now demolished Creme de la Creme.

He's always been that way. I remember the glaikit looks of older siblings when he encouraged us to imagine the former glories of dilapidated picture houses, dance halls and factories in Coatbridge and the East End.

I remember him posturing that if he won the lottery, he would save that big, old beautiful building cued for demolition and a shiny, plastic future as a B&Q/Tesco/Primark etc.

My Dad's built environment is a patchwork of intersecting narratives, overlapping histories and imaginations, with his being a singular thread in the bright and complex tartan of Scottish history.

When he walks through Glasgow, I imagine he sees a kaleidoscope of stories, relating his passion for Scottish history to his own experience as a born and bred Central Belter.

A lot of this comes down to an oh-so-Scottish yet oh-so-universal melancholic nostalgia for times past, and this could be criticised for being romantic and traditional.

But there's an argument to be made for the cultural consequence of losing such landmarks. Our urban landscape, both physically and in our imaginations, has been changing for decades.

Drop neoliberal here and add housing crisis there, and we have the rise of generic high street names and speculation.

I'd hazard a guess that in times past, the ineffably tedious triad of Sauchiehall, Buchanan, and Argyle Streets didn't resemble one another so bloody much.

And that the financial benefits of a shop front in the city centre didn't go to some multinational with over 100 outlets across the UK.

The spaces that are truly local, small and medium-sized enterprises and independent stores, are being squeezed into non-existence or peripheral poverty.

In this past week, we heard that the oldest cafe in Glasgow, King's Cafe, was shutting down after over a century of business.

The Cafe is not the first to be lost in the landscape of Weegie venues, with many lamenting, for example, the inexorable appetite of G1 Group in their quest to have their achingly generic menu font and interior decor across Scotland (though they are not the new proprietors of King's Cafe).

These processes, feeling so beyond the individual's ability to change, still have an undeniable impact on our sense of belonging.

While the economic mechanisms of these developments rework the physical experience of our cities, our public spaces become crucial anchors in retaining any sense of identity, history and place.

In the very near future, Glasgow City Council will be deciding whether to go ahead with plans to demolish the Royal Concert Hall steps and expand the Buchanan Galleries into a glass atrium in their place.

The steps are one of the few civic spaces in Glasgow's city centre. They have been witness to historical protests and speeches, but also form the backdrop of our collective experience of plain old living, namely in the form of a sandwich break.

The steps are only one story in a city, national and international trajectory of increasing private ownership and decreasing community empowerment. They are part of our Glasgow, our city, and when they are taken away as so many of our spaces have been, where else will we have to retreat to?

I hate to imagine my future self, traipsing on some deplorable shopping trip with a gaggle of chilluns in tow to the Buchanan Galleries.

I envisage staring at birdshit-stained glass, behind which sexy neon logos invite us to spend money on sweatshop tees, and telling my uncaring weans about the beautiful summer of 2014, the last The Steps saw.