In the past decade there have been conversations and design competitions about the future of George Square both as formal engagement processes and informal discussions through social media and the press.
Conversations around George Square took place in 2019 with the aim of establishing a fresh public perspective on the George Square’s place in the city, what it is used for and the possibilities the future could hold. The consultant team drew conclusions from their public conversations which led to recommendations for how George Square could be maximised as a city asset.
The conversations included three key questions:
What do people think and feel about George Square today?
What ambitions are there for the future of George Square?
What would change in George Square mean for the people and the city of Glasgow?
The recommendations drawn from these conversations are as follows:
George Square is special, it is the city’s main central civic space and much receive the highest standards of management and maintenance to remain accessible to all citizens
George Square should be a place for the common good of Glasgow
George Square can host a programme of large scale public events and offer citizens the opportunity to showcase Glasgow’s creativity
George Square should invite visitors to explore the city’s current offer
The design process for the future of the George Square should be rooted in public aspiration and engagement, reflecting its importance to the people of the city
Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, there have been a number of temporary measures introduced into the city centre to expand the spaces available for people walking and wheeling to aid public health measures such as physical distancing. This has included footway widening around the Square and modal filters to George Square (East), George Square (West), Hanover Street and North Hanover Street. George Street and St Vincent Street have widened footways and remain open to vehicular traffic.
In late 2021 it was announced that these changes would be made permanent to extend space for walking, wheeling and cycling in and around the city centre.
During this engagement process, digital surveys and conversations around George Square and the surrounding Avenues have already generated a wealth of information and data - helping to better understand local residents' perceptions of these two project areas, and providing significant input to shape the development of design proposals as the project progresses into design stages.A summary of Stage 1 engagement findings is available here