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Fancy a Square go?

Date: Thursday, September 3, 2015 Date: Thursday, September 3, 2015 Time: 07:45 - 09:15 Location: Corinthian Club, Glasgow

This is a past event

“Fancy a Square Go?”

We don’t do City Squares. Scotland needs a proper “square go”!

“These unique spaces, where other populations meet in times of national celebration, contemplation or crisis just don’t perform that function here at home.” Say’s SCDI’s Chief Executive Ross Martin. This month we heard what Ross had to say about our city squares or lack of them.

Many of us will have enjoyed European city squares over the summer for many different reasons but also think Tarir in Africa, Tiananmen in Asia, Dam, Red or Wenceslas in Europe.

Ross believes’ we can’t even get our city squares, where they do exist, to perform the basic, everyday role of enabling cultural, economic or social interactions to thrive. “These places should be the beating hearts of our cities, but in each case they fail these simple functions.”

Ross is part of a working group been set up to look at what can be done in our city squares including:

  • Culturally
  • Economically
  • For the social sector
  • Trade and industry

The group will look at how our town centre’s can be the ‘centre’ of attraction. The design and use of our public spaces should be somewhere to meet whether in times of protest or celebration.

Ross who has a diverse background working across the Scottish economy in the public, private and social sectors says “we need to drive investment into town centres where most people congregate”

There is evidence around the opportunities going forward for our city squares but currently Ross summed them up as:

  • Edinburgh doesn’t have one. Worse, we missed an historic opportunity to create the best City Square in the World
  • Dundee has Desperate Dan, the mock Kremlin and some flower tubs.
  • Perth: Town Hall or City Square?
  • Stirling: The magnificent Victorian Rail Station IS the city Square.
  • Inverness: nice paving slabs, a road which cuts through the middle, and emptiness.
  • Aberdeen, three letters. UTG. And now the controversy over (not so) Broad Street.

…and then there’s poor old George Square in Glasgow, many missed opportunities…

It’s not all negative; it’s just highlighting what we could achieve through our town centres that needs brought to our attention. The audience where captivated and had many questions around infrastructure, investment and use of public spaces. All in all it was a very entertaining presentation and we look forward to hearing how the work group progresses over the coming months and years.