The following blog is a journey along an imaginary urban design / architectural project and for best understanding, reading in chronological order is recommended.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Then and Now

The following images depict the change in Govan from it's heyday to what remains today.

Historical maps and images

Below is a series of maps and images depicting the growth of Govan.

Govan is a small settlement sitting within rural countryside and the River Clyde is in it's natural state with small islands. An old Scottish word for Island is "Inch" hence the word Inch appearing on the map.

A hundred years later and still a small settlement exists at Govan. The houses on the river bank are possibly fishermen. Note also the church in the background which is most likely the site of the current Govan Parish.

By now the River Clyde had been straightened and deepened. The islands are gone.

Larger boats are able to sail down the River Clyde. Govan still resembles a rural settlement.

The shipyards are now forming along the river.

As the shipyards grew, so did Govan, A railway station linked Govan with Glasgow and Paisley transporting goods, materials and workers.

The River Clyde helped Govan grow into a major industrial settlement to the point that it emerged with all the other expanding local villages to form the city we today know as Glasgow.

Origins and Development - The making of Govan

Key events:
Govan originated as a fishing and agricultural community based upon an ecclesiastical settlement.
The River Clyde was narrow then, and only small boats carrying salmon, herring, timber, salt and grain could navigate it.
1147: Govan was established as a Christian Parish being a prebend to Glasgow Cathedral.
1759: the Clyde Navigation Act received Royal Assent to straighten and deepen the river.
1839: a handloom weaving and silk mill was employing 340 people.
1830-1870: new shipyards were laid out.
1857: the Clyde was a busy centre for shipbuilding.
1864: Govan was granted Burgh Status by Sheriff of Lanarkshire in recognition of its importance as a commercial and industrial centre.
1867: the first chain-driven vehicle ferry linked both banks of Clyde carrying 80 people, 3 loaded carts or 3 wagons and by 1897, 12 vessels serviced up and down the Clyde from Glasgow to Whiteinch.
Mid C.19th: Glasgow pioneered shipbuilding by using steam as a new source of power.
1869: Linthouse Estate along with mansion was demolished to make way for new shipyards.
1872: schools were now founded by the state for all children aged 5-13.
1873: Rangers Football Club was founded.
1885: Elder Park is given to the people of Govan as a gift.
1888: Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society at Shieldhall. This complex became the largest enterprise in Europe between the 2 World Wars as 7000 people worked there in 100 different trades making just about anything. The Luma Factory building is all that remains.
Many people immigrated to Govan from Ireland, the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland looking for work in the new industries. Many brought their own cultures with new shops, pubs and churches.
1906: Pearce Institute is given to the people of Govan as a gift.
1945: areas of Glasgow were to be redeveloped. Victorian tenements were to be demolished and replaced with new housing and buildings. The scheme for Govan covered 383acres. A total of 7833 out of a total 9340 in this area were demolished. In the following 20 years, £38 million was to be spent in Govan, building 7 nursery schools, 5 primary schools, 82 acres of new housing and 367,000 sq. ft. of new industrial floor space.
Shipbuilding was the major industry in Govan until the 1960’s. Since then, the industry has been in decline due to Global Competition
1960’s: the motorway was built ploughing its way through outskirts of Govan.

Health Issues:
1871: 44% of households lived in one room accommodation. They had poor diets and conditions were overcrowded. Disease and early deaths were common.
1864-1898: a local report stated that measles alone accounted for 1200 child deaths.
1870-1900: nearly a third of all children in Govan died before their 5th birthday.
1903: Govan’s 1st hospital was built at Merryflats and is now known as the Southern General.

Population Growth & Decline:
1793: a local report calculated Govan’s population as 224 families.
1864: the population of Govan was 9000
1870-1873: the Burgh grew from 14,000 to 28,000. A decade later the population rose from 46,000 to 58,000
1903: Govan rivalled nearby town Paisley at 91,000 (Paisley's industry was the cotton mills and is well known for it's 'Paisley Pattern')
1999: the population of Govan is 24,239 and declining.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Figure Ground Plan - Historical Growth

Govan c.1863
A strong grid pattern is developing in the East as Glasgow's city develops.
The bridge shown here is now where the Central Station railway bridge is.
A Cluster development can be seen opposite the mouth to the River Kelvin
and is now the location of Govan Cross.
There is a sign of a path between Govan Cross and the grid pattern in the East.
There is also signs of another path developing on the South side of Govan.
This path is obviously linking Glasgow with the town of Paisley.

Govan c.1897
The introduction of shipbuilding and Docks have generated rapid development in
Greater Govan with Shipyards lining the Clyde and adjacent housing to the South.
Glasgow’s city grid has continued to develop west into Greater Govan but the
orientation and size of the grid has greatly altered.
Paisley Road West has now become more defined as a linear development.
Govan Cross has developed but its pattern is not a strong grid.
The Railway (passenger and freight) is now servicing Govan
The Parks (Elder and Kinning) have now been built.

Govan c.1938
Greater Govan has further developed, especially in the west where it continues to expand.
On the whole, the street and block pattern is now highly defined.
While now obviously an urban region it still holds unto its rural past with the existence
of a farm in the Drumoyne area.
The Stadium for Rangers Football Club, located in Ibrox can now be seen.
The shipbuilding industry is at its peak at this period and is summed up with the
completion of the Docks.
An important development now seen in the West is Govan’s first hospital.

Govan c.1999
Many changes have taken place in Greater Govan since the war.
The west side of the Farm has now been developed into housing with the remainder
being taken over by the school as recreational grounds.
The motorway has now been built, destroying much of the buildings and urban
fabric especially in the Kinning Park and Kingston area. Also note the Clyde Tunnel.
The decline of the shipyards has resulted in just the one left and the Docks filled in.
Some left over land from the closed shipyards have been used for new housing.
Many of the tenements in Govan have been demolished and replaced with modern
housing schemes of high rise and cul-de-sac developments.
The Freight Railway line is long gone and Govan Train Station has closed down.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Urban Design Project

The following blog is based upon the project I undertook for my Urban Design Masters degree.

The highlighted area which is known as Greater Govan is situated on the South West End of Glasgow and is bound to the North by the river Clyde and to the South by the M8 motorway.

Once a thriving community, Govan is now an area needing regeneration.

But what needs does Govan have and what proposals can act as a regeneration catalyst?

Before any proposals can be tabled, an investigation will need to be carried out to highlight the strengths and weaknesses then identify its opportunities for regeneration within the context of the overall city of Glasgow.