Glasgow’s Liveable Neighbourhoods will be accessible and healthy places that allow people of all ages and abilities, out to play and socialise in their local area. A Liveable Neighbourhood is Glasgow’s way of supporting Scottish Government’s planning policy (NPF4 Policy 15) of supporting local living and 20-minute neighbourhoods.
Our streets are dominated by vehicles and can be unsafe, unappealing or inaccessible for pedestrians and cyclists. They often provide very little space for people, play and social activities. Many streets are so busy that they cut people off from the shops, schools, facilities, and open space they wish to use on a daily basis. Liveable Neighbourhoods address the imbalance between people and vehicles while allowing us to get around as we need to.
These concepts are being implemented in towns and cities in the UK and around the world, using a range of approaches. Glasgow is focusing on making everyday services, amenities, and facilities accessible within a short walk, cycle, or public transport journey. This will be achieved through an integrated and transformational place-making approach to deliver positive change in our neighbourhoods.
For this project, 'Liveable Neighbourhoods' are being defined by four themes: Local Town Centres, Everyday Journeys, Active Travel, and Streets for People.
The benefits that this project can bring include reducing air pollution, improving environments and health, safety from vehicles (particularly for kids), inclusive access for all abilities and economic groups (including those without cars), reduced congestion for those who need to use vehicles, with opportunities to make space for people and social activities through reduced severance from shops, with more open space and services.
Some people require a private vehicle and/or mobility aid to assist with their journeys. Everyone will still be able to use a vehicle to travel freely in and out of your immediate neighbourhood to the rest of the city and beyond. But through Glasgow Liveable Neighbourhoods, we hope that car dependency will be naturally reduced as we improve your ability to access everyday needs via walking, wheeling, cycling and public transport. Our goal is that lower car dependency will naturally reduce the amount of vehicles on streets, and this rebalancing of street use will help make active and sustainable travel first choice and lessen the need to use a private car for short everyday journeys.
Liveable Neighbourhoods activity does not come from the council core budget and is instead funded by Transport Scotland via the Sustrans Places for Everyone programme. This is dedicated to Active Travel projects, which also includes an emphasis of placemaking, the funding is a grant in which specific projects have to be submitted on a staged process following the RIBA stages 0-7. Funds that are granted are for a specific sole purpose and cannot be redirected elsewhere.
The Liveable Neighbourhoods Plan will be implemented on a whole-city basis. A phased approach is being taken, allowing us to align available resources with our capacity to deliver projects. Using the current 56 Glasgow neighbourhoods and the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), areas were mapped out using the subset of data zones to identify 27 large urban neighbourhoods, described as ‘Liveable Neighbourhood Areas’. These proposed areas were reviewed with built environment, typology, location of local high streets and civic services in addition to consideration of known transport movements. At present, our first three Tranches of the project have been planned, and we are currently in Tranche 2. The make-up of areas within tranches beyond these first three are still to be defined.
Five areas formed the first tranche, these are:
Four areas form the second tranche:
Tranche 3 is anticipated to commence in late 2023 and will cover the following study areas:
The Liveable Neighbourhoods project aims to generate a list of projects under the 4 themes of Local Centres, Everyday Journeys, Active Travel and Streets for People. We have used public and stakeholder engagement to help identify the current strengths and weaknesses of the areas and to suggest potential improvement projects.
The projects that are generated for the long list contain a range of simple to complex projects, small scale to large and short timescale to long timescale for delivery. Within the Tranche 1 and 2 funding currently available there is opportunity to take a small number of projects to concept design (RIBA Stages 2-6) in a short timeline.
In Stage 1 of the project, we undertook analysis of the areas and a first round of community engagement, which helped to identify a long list of projects. These were assessed against several criteria to create a library of projects and establish which could most feasibly be progressed to concept design within the scope of the Glasgow Liveable Neighbourhoods project. The assessment allowed Local Ward Councillors an opportunity to be briefed on the projects for comment, in addition to Spatial Planning and other Council departments. The projects brought forward were selected on the outcome of the scoring assessment, feedback from local councillors and GCC departments, the project funder (Sustrans), and the feasibility of delivering the projects against the resources available.
Following this process, a selection of 2-6 projects in each LN area is carried through to RIBA Stage 2 for concept design work depending on scale and complexity. Engineering and design consultants have been procured to undertake this work and have a limited budget, so are only able to take a selection of projects forward with concept design delivery at the end of 2023.
The fact that a project did not make the short list does not mean it will never happen. Projects failed to make the list for a variety of reasons, including:
The creation of a ‘Library of Projects’ allows GCC to submit funding bids as new opportunities come along. The projects could be taken forward by other GCC internal teams for instance, through the teams responsible for housing, roads, communities, or parks and open spaces.
External organisations can also make use of the work to apply for funding that is not available to the Council. The Liveable Neighbourhoods project is funded by Transport Scotland through Sustrans for three Tranches of RIBA Stage 0-2 only. This Stage 0-2 work would also allow for projects to be put forward for funding opportunities through other organisations, such as Housing Associations and community groups, applying for funding that the Council cannot access. Please note that there is no obligation or statutory responsibility for other organisations to progress any projects.
We are aiming to implement as many projects as possible from this process.
We are actively seeking further funding and opportunities to take these projects through further design into construction. Several projects identified in Tranche 1 have successfully attracted further financial support and can be advanced through further engagement and technical design.
We cannot provide a start date, as any activity is reliant on attracting funding at each stage. The projects that will be taken forward to concept design in Tranche 2 (which includes this neighbourhood area) will be submitted to Sustrans Places for Everyone Programme for funding to commence to technical design.
The first Liveable Neighbourhood scheme in Tranche 1 is currently awaiting the green light to proceed to construction. A further four projects from Tranche 1 are undergoing technical design work.
Here is a number of ways that funding may become available:
We are implementing the Active Travel Strategy (ATS) for Glasgow alongside the Liveable Neighbourhoods activity. There is considerable overlap between these two workstreams which will produce strong positive outcomes for the city. The new Active Travel City Network will be an additional mechanism to deliver Liveable Neighbourhoods interventions and vice versa, particularly around the themes of active travel and everyday journeys. The Travel Behaviour Change strategy will support the ‘soft measures’ required to make the modal shift from private vehicle to active travel for short journeys. Actions such as widening access to personal bikes and making a greater range of bicycles (e.g. cargo bikes and adaptive bikes) available for hire, will make active travel utility journeys easier and more desirable.
The GTS aims to support the expansion of vehicle-sharing in the city, this allows cars and vans to be made available to the public on a short hire basis. This is a cheaper alternative to car ownership that will be desirable to many residents who do not need a private vehicle full-time. This will help to reduce private vehicle dependency at a neighbourhood level and unlock road space reallocation, allowing streets to be used for more social, play and local economic purposes.
In October 2022 a committee motion was passed instructing the council to adopt a Feminist town planning approach within planning policy and the new City Development Plan. This also mandates the gathering of intersectional gender-disaggregation of data in all consultations to ensure we fully understand gender differences in behaviour and needs.
Through Liveable Neighbourhoods engagement, participants can share their demographic info (if they chose to do so) upon responding to surveys. This allows us to begin to understand how different groups in society will perceive our streetscapes and understand the link between gender and perceived/physical safety in the built environment. RIBA Stages 1-4 allow for targeted engagement and during early feasibility session at RIBA Stage 1, focused sessions can be held with groups aligning with protected characteristics. This allows us to begin to overcome the challenges of consulting seldom heard voices in the design process, and ensure consultation is more representative of society. As projects progress to Stage 2 and beyond, there are opportunities to hold design workshops using a gendered lens. This can ensure women’s spatial realities are considered in design development, allowing for better, safer and more accessible outcomes when projects are implemented.
As part of our engagement work in this neighbourhood, we are ensuring that we are highlighting perspectives from women and underrepresented groups in our data and recommendations to the identification and further design of improvement projects. This is done passively through our interactions with the public through online surveys, but we are taking measures to ensure we meet directly with community groups and offer workshops and engagement opportunities for groups often under-represented in consultation data, with the support of local housing associations and youth groups.
Schemes focussing on public transport were not highlighted as the most feasible to deliver within scope and funding opportunities available to the Liveable Neighbourhoods project. There are several factors that can limit GCC’s ability to improve bus services, including that services provided (i.e. routes, frequency, and quality) are through private companies. Glasgow City Region Bus Partnership is investigating how to improve services, with GCC investigating the use of new legislation that will be able to allow local authorities to explore alternative options.
Glasgow Transport Strategy contains a number of Policies that include Bus services:
These are work stages which are outlined by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). All the teams working on the Glasgow Liveable Neighbourhood project are only procured to do work on these stages in progressively, rather than all at once. Each stage may require different funding, consultation or programmes. The stages are loosely grouped as:
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