Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee today (16 March) approved the next stage of a strategy that aims to make best use of the 90 lanes in the city centre. The draft strategy will now go out for public consultation.
This lanes strategy, as part of the council’s wider city centre strategy, views the city centre’s lane network as a valuable part of Glasgow’s rich heritage and character.
Some city centre lanes have always enjoyed a variety of uses, and in recent years have been joined by a number of others which have been transformed into successful public spaces with independent shops, restaurants and bars contributing to Glasgow’s day and night-time economies.
However, many other lanes in the city centre do not have such activity and can be locations where anti-social behaviour takes place, as well as a poor physical environment with unauthorised parking and excessive refuse disposal systems.
A draft city centre lanes strategy has been drafted – in consultation with stakeholders including the council, businesses, community groups, charities, waste contractors, landowners, artists and artisans – to consider how best to regenerate the lanes network.
The draft strategy examined the uses – historic and current – of each lane, taking into account their individual characteristics and considering the impact of planning policies on the network.
The experience of cities from around the world who have developed similar lane strategies, such as Montreal, San Francisco, Seattle and Melbourne, was also taken into account when preparing Glasgow’s draft city centre lane strategy.
The strategy also contains a range of potential actions that will be scrutinised through the public consultation, such as events and pop-up activities; integration with the new public realm to be delivered through the ‘Avenues’ programme in the city centre; the management of future development aided by planning policy and design guidance to ensure the optimal regeneration of lanes where possible; and initiatives on waste and recycling; public health and community safety; and parking and surfacing.
Given the complex nature of lane ownership, it will be important to develop a shared sense of mission and motivation to successfully deliver the strategy.
A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “The lanes network in the city centre is flourishing in some areas, but could undoubtedly be improved in others. The regeneration of these lanes would play a significant role in the ongoing transformation on the city centre, and this draft strategy aims to deliver that. The public consultation will help shape the final plan for the network, and we ask everyone with an interest in the city centre to take part.”