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

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

To develop or to not develop

Does Govan need to be developed or just left alone?

We have seen during our investigation of Govan how it has adapted to meet its function of any particular era. As the industrial revolution took hold Govan changed from a natural landscape to a developed community containing many industries and a strong labour force living on its doorstep. New shipyards lined the deepened and straightened dredged river, railway line was built to service the industries. Tenement housing was built to accommodate the new workforce migrating to the city from rural communities.

But what is Govan's function now?

One function that Govan now has is a commuting town as many live there but work outwith. The advantages that allow this are as follows:

  • Govan's house prices are generally lower in comparison to other Glasgow districts especially the West End which is on the opposite side of the river.
  • Close proximity to city centre.
  • Good Public transport.
  • Next to motorway.

Another function Govan is developing is new commercial opportunities. The advantages that allow this are as follows:

  • Land available for development
  • Local community and amenities already present
  • Good Public transport.
  • Next to motorway.

Another factor which will help answer the question of whether Govan should be developed or left alone is how it fits in with the overall planning strategy of the city of Glasgow. Researching the city council's planning strategies probably the biggest challenge for Glasgow is to redevelop and make better use of the River Clyde. The council are obviously keen to regenerate the Clyde and this is apparent with many developments along its banks such as the SECC, the Glasgow Science Centre, BBC, the Clyde Arc bridge, the proposed transport museum etc.

With Govan located on the banks of the river Clyde, it seems to me that to develop the Clyde, all adjacent communities should be developed to support new functions on the river. This development includes Govan making it a crucial link in the city's strategy.

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