"This project is a replicable model for main streets throughout the UK. It shows how traffic dominated roads can be transformed into places for people, encouraging active travel, supporting businesses and creating relaxing environments for all. The creation of a truly democratic space in the city is especially important."
Urban Movement has won the 2021 Urban Design Group Award for PEOPLE FRIENDLY PLACE. We think this is a testament to the power of transforming city streets into places for people; places for city life; and places for prosperity.
Sauchiehall Street was the pilot project for Glasgow City Council’s ambitious £115 million City Deal funded 'Avenues' public realm programme which aims to transform and connect over fifteen primary city center
streets into exemplars of sustainable infrastructure to facilitate and encourage active travel and mitigate the
effects of climate change and bring out health and economic benefits by creating people friendly streets.
Sauchiehall Street was once one of Glasgow great Victoria streets, part of the city centre 'grid' and a vibrant
destination drawing people from all over the city to dance, drink, eat, shop and work. Glasgow’s slow decline
through the 20th century (from a city of 1.2 million to around 0.6 million today) was reflected in the fortunes of
Sauchiehall Street which slowly shifted its offer to cheap student bars and take-away food venues which
supported the live music venues and clubs.
Glasgow City Centre has few public open spaces, gardens or squares (nearby Blythswood Square is gated). To help address this shortfall Sauchiehall Street was simply re-conceived as a linear public space (simple, bold and straight) that meets the projects sustainable infrastructure objectives. Amazingly there are very few public
seats on the city’s streets outside the big public spaces. The project changed this dramatically by installing
approximately thirty new three-seater benches all with backs and arm rests.
Glaswegians are notoriously gregarious and friendly and like eating, drinking (and smoking) with friends or
strangers. The city centre had very places to sit out on the street to do any of these things. The wider clutter free footways of Sauchiehall Street have changed this and 'pavement café culture' is now evident on both sides of the street.
The positive effect on the local economy with increased retail, leisure, commercial activity is evidenced by the
number of people now 'out on the street'.