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Glasgow 1980

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    52k houses demolished between 1960 and 1970 and planned additional demolition of 75k up until 1980. And we thought what the road/city planners did in Dublin was bad!


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,884 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    dubhthach wrote: »
    52k houses demolished between 1960 and 1970 and planned additional demolition of 75k up until 1980. And we thought what the road/city planners did in Dublin was bad!
    I'm in two minds on this tbh. Our planners wanted to replicate the Glasgow model.

    If heroin hadn't arrived in Glasgow in the 80's, it wouldn't have seen so many of those tower blocks turn into no-go areas. The planners couldn't have envisaged such devastation being wrought on a city through drug addiction.

    The Glaswegians at least had the gumption to do something. In Ireland it feels like we are paralysed when it comes to such things. We dither and delay and in the end absolutely nothing gets done. In Dublin we wanted to do similar things as in Glasgow, but it wasn't some great foresight of our leaders in the 60's that prevented it, it was the usual, chronic paralysis of any sort of development that did.

    We should be saying to ourselves, "phew, close one, thank God we didn't drive a load of urban motorways through Dublin, now let's get on with those undergrounds instead"...but we won't, we'll delay and again be gripped by this paralysis of development and nothing will be built and Dublin will continue to choke in traffic.

    At least in Glasgow you can get around the place. At least they connected their tower blocks to something. In Dublin we tore down tenements and built Ballymun and connected it to....nothing. Glasgow had integrated ticketing and fares 40 fcuking years ago and Dublin still hasn't. We are truly pathetic at this stuff. Glasgow ripped up city centre streets to built their Argyle Line and renovate their Underground-something I'm sure they never looked back from. In Dublin some prick selling plastic tricolor inflatable hammers can apparently motivate people to oppose such works. How pathetically shortsighted can one country be.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,735 Irish and Proud


    It was Summer 1984 when I first went to Glasgow as part of a group outing - I was just 11 at the time. We stayed in a nice 'hall of residence' in the Kelvindale area which is along the A82 Great Western Road - also a nice area I must say. Before the trip however, I fell for the stereotype that Scotland was all about Cobblestones, Kilts and Bagpipes! :o I really had no idea about Scotland - when we arrived at Glasgow Renfrew Airport, we were taken by bus along the M8 Motorway to as far as the A739 for the Clyde Tunnel. Once through, it wasn't long till we arrived at Kelvindale, after which it wasn't long before we went swimming.

    Now, I think it was the next morning in the foyer (of the residential hall) that I saw this map of Central Glasgow on the wall - this is a moment I'll never forget - at that point, Glasgow had be hooked - the map had all these very futuristic white streams representing the M8 - it was like no road I've ever seen before - we certainly had nothing like it in Ireland then. When I first saw the central section of the M8, I had a sense of being somewhere in North America - something like what you'd see in 'CHIPS', especially the elevated section at Port Dundas with its fresh concrete appearance at the time. During our stay there, every time I saw the M8, it seemed very futuristic with its traffic streams gliding freely under and over the city while there was heavy traffic on other roads. This road has hardly changed since then and I'd love to drive it some time - there are newer motorways feeding into the M8's central section (M77 towards Ayr and M80 towards Cumbernauld), but the M8 still pretty much the same as I remember it when I last visited Glasgow in 1987.

    Now having looked at the video, it gives a very interesting insight into the thinking back in the 1960's and 1970's - it was so progressive and yet seemed very balanced. In fact, I think the plan was really good, but from what I heard over the years, parts of it seemed very badly executed - in some cases, residential towers were put up before there were any community facilities - bad mistake IMO. Also, some of the construction quality was poor - dampness, leaks etc. When we talk about the 1960's in terms of urban space and planning, was it really bad planning or was it bad execution of the plans. After all, the video demonstrated very clear objectives for Glasgow: More space, more light, more nature and more freedom for its people. The plan was clearly not just about Motorway and Residential Towers, but was also about Railways, Parks and River Walks. The planners also did strive to keep the best of the old architecture - they were conscious that some of the old city should be kept. Another key part of the plan was that pedestrians were king in the city centre, not cars - much of that objective was realized at quite an early stage. For example, Sauchiehall Street was pedestrianized and part of the old London Road was literally removed - all by 1984 - I think this was on foot of the M8 completion.

    About the M8 itself, there are some nice parts (around Jct 17/18 for example) and some ugly parts (around Jct 19) IMO. Also, having see old pictures (pre M8) of Glasgow, it seemed depressing - tired urban spaces with no reprieve or sense of space. I feel that the M8 in places has brought with it a better sense of space as well as a lot of trees etc to the city centre - I don't think that would have happened without the Motorway. The other interesting thing is that without the developments of the 1960's and 1970's, the centre of Glasgow would have simply continued in decline according to some people. To me, there are clearly advantages and disadvantages to what happened in the redevelopment of Central Glasgow.

    For me, the M8 is a classic in terms of road infrastructure! :)


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,401 Mod ✭✭✭✭ spacetweek


    murphaph wrote: »
    I'm in two minds on this tbh. Our planners wanted to replicate the Glasgow model.
    We should be saying to ourselves, "phew, close one, thank God we didn't drive a load of urban motorways through Dublin, now let's get on with those undergrounds instead"...but we won't, we'll delay and again be gripped by this paralysis of development and nothing will be built and Dublin will continue to choke in traffic.
    <snip rant>
    Nope. When you dodge a bullet, you dodge a bullet. We were lucky we didn't copy Glasgow and innumerable American cities in going down this route.
    The DART/Metro were scuppered by the financial crisis, not political paralysis.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,884 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    spacetweek wrote: »
    Nope. When you dodge a bullet, you dodge a bullet. We were lucky we didn't copy Glasgow and innumerable American cities in going down this route.
    The DART/Metro were scuppered by the financial crisis, not political paralysis.
    hahahahha. That is all.

    We've been dithering about metro/DART for friggin years. DART to Tallaght, DART to the Blanch Centre, DART Underground, metro to here there and everywhere. All grand paper plans that were never realised. Sure as soon as a few traders on Grafton St made noises, mammy O'Rourke split the Luas in two so we don't even have a poxy tram network after 20 years of unprecedented tax returns.

    I'd take a Dublin with some major urban roads if we also got the Glasgow Underground and their extensive suburban rail network.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,401 Mod ✭✭✭✭ spacetweek


    OK - scuppered by two things. First, the fact that FF was in charge of it. They're just like the USA Republican party - conservative, low-tax, economic progress at all costs, bias for the private rather than public (transport, healthcare etc.) They never really wanted to build the Metro unless it got them votes.
    The new coalition is a different story. The FG/LAB government has scuppered it because of the financial crisis that they inherited from Fianna Fail.
    murphaph wrote: »
    I'd take a Dublin with some major urban roads if we also got the Glasgow Underground and their extensive suburban rail network.
    Have you ever been to Glasgow? Shudder.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,884 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    spacetweek wrote: »
    OK - scuppered by two things. First, the fact that FF was in charge of it. They're just like the USA Republican party - conservative, low-tax, economic progress at all costs, bias for the private rather than public (transport, healthcare etc.) They never really wanted to build the Metro unless it got them votes.
    The new coalition is a different story. The FG/LAB government has scuppered it because of the financial crisis that they inherited from Fianna Fail.

    Have you ever been to Glasgow? Shudder.
    About half a dozen times.

    FG are not a pro-rail party by any stretch of the imagination and Labour only support public transport if it is run by CIE and their unions. Do your really think that if we see a few bob again that MN and DU will be top of the priority list....


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