Context 171 - March 2022

30 C O N T E X T 1 7 1 : M A R C H 2 0 2 2 BRIAN EVANS Glasgow’s journey to 2030 The city’s approach to housing renewal is supporting its transition to net-zero and the roll-out of 20-minute neighbourhoods based on its historic patterns of development. ‘Glasgow is making a transition to a greener, fairer and more sustainable city.We stand today as an international exemplar of physical and social regeneration’ (Councillor Susan Aitken, leader, Glasgow City Council, COP26) In the first two decades of the 21st century, Glasgow has built a reputation for the delivery of social and affordable housing after decades of challenge in the sector. Today, working with the city’s universities and the private sector, Glasgow has an ambitious programme of decarbonisation that puts people and place at the centre of the process to achieve net zero carbon by 2030, combining this with an ongoing commitment to social justice. The city’s housing association movement, born out of challenges arising from deindustrialisation andmodernist planning in the middle of the 20th century, and recent achievements in social housing, contributes to these aspirations and facilitates the city’s approach to implementing the Scottish Government’s policy of promoting the 20-minute neighbourhood. Four eras A bucolic founding of the city on the Clyde gave birth to the myth of Glasgow’s name of ‘Gleschu’ in Scots Gaelic, literally ‘little green hollow’, transposed to ‘dear green place’. This epithet is held dear by Glasgow’s people as a part of their identity, but the modern history of Glasgow is more challenging and can be characterised by four distinct eras. Industrialisation, 1850–1925 From the middle of the 19th until the early 20th centuries, Glasgow grew from an agricultural and ecclesiastical centre to become an industrial giant.This growth gave the city status, prosperity, wealth and an international reputation as one of the biggest cities in the world. But it came at a price for Glasgow citizens who powered the city’s development. By the early 20th century, living conditions across the city had deteriorated badly. Deindustrialisation, 1945–1980 In the years following the second world war, the city’s industrial base, artificially supported by a wartime economy, suffered systemic failure, and Glasgow entered a second era of economic hardship and widespread poverty. A national policy to depopulate the city and experiments in modernist city planning escalated deindustrialisation and decline, leading to displaced communities and impoverished people across the city. By the 1960s the situation had become grave, and a major storm at the end of the decade caused citywide damage and destruction. From the efforts to create temporary repairs, a group of architecture students introduced a new paradigm of renewal that provided the impetus to establish citizen-led housing associations. This led to the creation of a movement to repair and transform the tenements of the city, as it was realised that deindustrialisation and unemployment, not the By the early 20th century, living conditions across the city had deteriorated badly. (All photos: Glasgow City Council)

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