Glasgow City Centre Strategy has described Glasgow as Scotland’s largest and most dynamic city. The city centre has witnessed circa £700 million of investment over the last decade, with many initiatives from both municipal and national government designed to improve the cleanliness and the overall outlook of the city whilst promoting Glasgow as a top visitor destination.
One initiative for the city is the Avenues project which has been promoted in Glasgow’s city centre to improve sustainability with many environmental, economic and social benefits. Glasgow City Region City Deal will invest circa £115 million into the Glasgow city centre retrofit project which aims to make the city more ‘people friendly’, more attractive, greener, more sustainable and more economically competitive. This is being achieved by increased pedestrian/cycle space, Intelligent Street Lighting and SMART/Green infrastructure. This retrofit project has consisted of collaborative planning between local government, Scottish government and UK government and was implemented by regional partners and overseen by the Scottish Region Deal Delivery Board.
Cities may be responsible for up to 70% of global carbon emissions, with transport being one of the main contributors. That said, Glasgow’s Municipal Plan, the Avenues Project is designed to make transportation greener with continuous footways and increased pedestrian and cycle space within some of the city’s keys streets.
The project will not only have social and economic benefits, but also environmental advantages. The Avenues project can be seen as a mechanism to deliver air quality improvements, in this case, lowering emissions by promoting cycling and walking and introducing a low carbon emission zone to result in a fewer number of vehicles into the city. The policy will result in less air pollution which should improve human health and make Glasgow a safer, cleaner and more pleasant place to live, work and visit. The low carbon emission zone municipal policy is already implemented in the city affecting public transport and buses, but sadly full implementation to include cars has been delayed due to Covid-19.