DESIGN Contract Process For George Square And Surrounding Avenue Streets To Begin

11 September, 2020 | Active Travel, Public Realm

GLASGOW City Council is to start the process of choosing the team which will design a further phase of the city centre Avenues programme.

It will cover Block C of the radical public realm transformation which takes in George Square, George Street, Hanover Street, John Street, Miller Street, Dundas Street and Dundas Lane.

The pre-qualification process has begun, with shortlisted teams to be announced in November, and the publication of the full tender shortly after.

It is expected that the approval of a selected design team will go for committee approval in January/February 2021, with the appointment made in March 2021.

The redesign of George Square will require to take into account Glasgow’s hosting of major events in the coming years, such as the UEFA European football championships, climate change conference COP26 and the UCI Cycling World Championships, with construction work beginning shortly after the latter in the summer of 2023.

The £115million Avenues programme aims to make city centre streets for people and bike-friendly with completion scheduled for 2027. It is a Glasgow City Region City Deal project, funded by the Scottish and UK Governments. | More about the Avenues on council website

A pilot Avenue on Sauchiehall Street was completed last year.

Work on The Underline Avenue people-friendly travel route between St Georges Cross and Cowcaddens is expected to start in 2022.

Proposals for the Glassford Street and Stockwell Street Avenues were released for consultation in January.

George Street, which currently has pandemic Spaces for People measures in place

Alongside the development of a new design for George Square, Glasgow’s principal civic space, the George Square Area Strategy project will include the George Street and St Vincent Street Avenues and a new pedestrian link from Queen Street Station down towards the Clyde, passing through the square, Hanover Street and Miller Street.

Prospective design teams will need to demonstrate an awareness of, and skill in, reinterpreting the history of significant urban places and creating places fit for a confident 21st century city.

The project will also look to develop a sustainable connection between George Square and Queen Street Station, delivering the necessary accessibility and servicing requirements with appropriate public transport and active travel facilities and infrastructure.

The scope of works for the project will be established as the design process progresses, with detail to be developed through a further analysis and public engagement with a wide variety of key stakeholder groups.

During the work ahead, attention will be paid to the servicing of the neighbourhoods’ shops, businesses, residential developments, refuse collection facilities, and so on, with local access for residents being maintained.

The project will be monitored by a cross-party group.

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The transformation of George Square is already underway and this project will help to redefine it as Glasgow’s principal public space and gathering place.

“It will make active travel and public transport more appealing, improve air quality and the local environment, and make this city neighbourhood not only more resilient and sustainable, but a more attractive place in which to live, work and visit.

“Selecting a design team for George Square and the surrounding Avenues and streets is an important milestone for the city and a key part of this project.

“The design can reflect the changes to the area that public engagement has told us what the people of Glasgow want, and ensure that it can take the opportunities –- and meet the economic and environmental challenges –- ahead of us, including an awareness of our history as a city and our identity.”

Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, Michael Matheson said: “This is another significant milestone for Glasgow as it prepares to host a number of major events in the years ahead, and it’s encouraging that the views of local people will help shape how this central space will look.

“Our investment through the City Region and Growth Deals is a crucial part of our economic recovery from coronavirus (Covid-19) as we work towards a fairer, greener and more inclusive Scotland.

“It will also ensure that we maximise the benefits of our investment in the years to come, creating jobs and significant inclusive growth across the region.”

UK Government minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said: “The Avenues programme is essential for preserving the unique vitality and appeal of Glasgow city centre, so I am pleased that the next phase of these transformative works is getting underway.”

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