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architecture of place A Critical Appraisal of the Quality of Urban Life in Glasgow’s City Centre

Kieran Dick-Doyle Student No. 201594967 Dissertation Supervisor: Professor Ashraf M. Salama Cultural Studies AB420 Dissertation 10 March 2016 University of Strathclyde Faculty of Engineering Department of Architecture Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Architectural Design


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With Thanks,

To my closest family, thank-you for your un-waivering and inspiring belief in me and your encouragement and support whenever I need it. To my dissertation supervisor, Ashraf Salama, who helped me hone this work and introduced me to a new subject and the ideas and skills that come with it. To Tutors at Scott Sutherland School of Architecture for having faith in me to succeed. To my friends, who made the time spent writing this work bearable, memorable and ensured I finish.


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Contents p.2 APPENDIX (a) - Declaration p.3 APPENDIX (b) - Acknowledgements p.4 Table of Contents p.5 APPENDIX (c) - Table of Figures p.7 (i) Notes p.7 (ii) Abstract p.8 (iii) Introduction p.10 1.0 Quality of Urban Life and Methods of Examining it p.10 1.1 Quality of Life p.10 1.2 Urban Planning p.10 1.3 Quality of Urban Life p.11 2.0 Methodological Approach to Examining QOUL p.11 2.1 Establishing a Research Model p.12 2.2 Research Approach p.12 2.3 Avoiding Inconclusive Results p.13 2.4 Applicable Indicators for Study p.15 2.5 Approach for this Study p.16 2.6 Objective Analysis Methodology p.17 2.7 Behavioural Mapping Analysis Methodology p.21 3.0 Mapping Current Glasgow Issues to Analytical Approaches p.21 3.1 Glasgow’s Urban Environment p.21 3.2 Characterising Glasgow’s Urban Space p.21 3.3 Refinement of Place p.21 3.4 Identification of Key Spaces p.23 4.0 Analysis of Place Portfolios p.23 4.1 Place 1 Portfolio p.28 4.2 Place 1 Behavioural Study p.33 4.3 Place 2 Portfolio p.38 4.4 Place 2 Behavioural Study p.43 4.5 Place 3 Portfolio p.48 4.6 Place 3 Behavioural Study p.52 5.0 Narrative of Public Spaces in Glasgow p.52 5.1 A Destination Space p.52 5.2 A Movement Space p.53 5.3 An Accidental Space p.54 6.0 Conclusion p.56 7.0 Bibliography & Associated Texts


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APPENDIX (c) Table of Figures p.8 Figure 1 Trafalgar Square, London [Digital image] Accessible: http://www.touropia.com/city-squares-around-the-world/ p.8 Figure 2 Piazza san Marco, Venice [Digital image] Accessible: http://www.touropia.com/city-squares-around-the-world/ p.8 Figure 3 Red Square, Moscow [Digital image] Accessible: http://www.touropia.com/city-squares-around-the-world/ p.8 Figure 4 Djemaa el Fna, Morocco [Digital image] Accessible: http://www.touropia.com/city-squares-around-the-world/ p.11 Figure 5 Marans’ proposed framework for QOUL study Marans, R W; Quality of Urban Life Studies: An overview of implications for environment- behaviour research; 2011; International Conference on Environmental-Behavioural Studies; p.4 p.15 Figure 7 Explanation of objective analysis [digram] p.16 Figure 8 Example layout of behaviour analysis map with key [sketch] p.16 Figure 9 Outline of behavioural mapping analysis [diagram] p.19 Figure 10 Example of composite map with key [diagram] p.23 Figure 11 Layout of Place Portfolio 1 [diagram] p.24 Figure 12 Glasgow City Chambers [Digital Image] Accessible: http://igjc2017.com/social-programme/ p.24 Figure 13 Old Post Office Building [Digital Image] Accessible: http://www.relevantsearchscotland.co.uk/glasgow-buildings.html p.25 Figure 14 Bank of Scotland building [Digital Image] Accessible: http://www.relevantsearchscotland.co.uk/glasgow-buildings.html p.25 Figure 15 Merchants’ House [Digital Image] Accessible: http://www.relevantsearchscotland.co.uk/glasgow-buildings.html p.28 Figure 17 Behavioral mapping analysis, Mon am 22.02.16 [sketch] p.28 Figure 18 Behavioral mapping analysis, Tues lunch 18.02.16 [sketch] p.28 Figure 19 Behavioral mapping analysis, Fri lunch 19.02.16 [sketch] p.28 Figure 20 Behavioral mapping analysis, Wed pm 17.02.16 [sketch] p.29 Figure 21 Behavioral mapping analysis, Fri pm 19.02.16 [sketch] p.29 Figure 22 Behavioral mapping analysis, Sat lunch 20.02.16 [sketch] p.29 Figure 23 Behavioral mapping analysis, Sun lunch 21.02.16 [sketch] p.29 Figure 24 Behavioral mapping analysis, Sun pm 14.02.16 [sketch] p.32 Figure 25 Behavioral mapping analysis, Composite Place 1 [Sketch] p.33 Figure 26 Layout of Place Portfolio 2 [Diagram] p.34 Figure 27 Corner building, 4 Gordon St and 113-115 Buchannan S [Digital Image] Accessible: http://www.relevantsearchscotland.co.uk/glasgow-buildings.html p.34 Figure 28 106 Buchanan St [Digital Image] Accessible: http://www.relevantsearchscotland.co.uk/glasgow-buildings.html p.35 Figure 29 National Bank Chambers, 137 Buchannan St [Digital Image] Accessible: http://www.relevantsearchscotland.co.uk/glasgow-buildings.html p.37 Figure 30 Source Glasgow City Center – Economic Health Check 2015


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continued - Table of Figures p.36 Figure 31 Behavioral mapping analysis, Mon am 22.02.16 [Sketch] p.36 Figure 32 Behavioral mapping analysis, Tues am 16.02.16 [Sketch] p.36 Figure 33 Behavioral mapping analysis, Wed Lunch 17.02.16 [Sketch] p.36 Figure 34 Behavioral mapping analysis, Wed pm 17.02.16 [Sketch] p.37 Figure 35 Behavioral mapping analysis, Sat pm 20.02.16 [Sketch] p.37 Figure 36 Behavioral mapping analysis, Sat Lunch 20.02.16 [Sketch] p.37 Figure 37 Behavioral mapping analysis, Sun Lunch 21.02.16 [Sketch] p.37 Figure 38 Behavioral mapping analysis, Sun pm 14.02.16 [Sketch] p.38 Figure 39 Behavioral mapping analysis, Composite map place 2 [Sketch] p.41 Figure 41 Layout of Place Portfolio 3 [Diagram] p.42 Figure 42 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall [Digital Image] Accessible: http://www.theskinny. co.uk/whats-on/glasgow/live-music/glasgow-royal-concert-hall p.42 Figure 43 Buchanan Galleries p.43 Figure 44 Royal Concert Hall Steps p.45 Figure 46 Source Glasgow City Center – Economic Health Check 2015 Accessible: https://www. glasgow.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=17548&p=0 ; Accessed 04/01/16 p.46 Figure 47 Behavioral mapping analysis, Mon am 22.02.16 [Sketch] p.46 Figure 48 Behavioral mapping analysis, Fri Lunch 12.02.16 [Sketch] p.46 Figure 47 Behavioral mapping analysis, Tues Lunch 09.02.16 [Sketch] p.46 Figure 50 Behavioral mapping analysis, Tues pm 09.02.16 [Sketch] p.47 Figure 51 Behavioral mapping analysis, Fri pm 19.02.16 [Sketch] p.47 Figure 52 Behavioral mapping analysis, Sun pm 14.02.16 [Sketch] p.47 Figure 53 Behavioral mapping analysis, Sat Lunch 20.02.16 [Sketch] p.47 Figure 52 Behavioral mapping analysis, Sat Lunch 13.02.16 [Sketch] p.48 Figure 55 Behavioral mapping analysis, Composite map Place Portfolio 3 [Sketch] p.24 Table 1 Place 1 Amenities - Developed from researched information p.30 Table 2 Place 1 Behavioural Pattern Usage Amenities - Developed from researched information p.36 Table 3 Place 2 Amenities - Developed from researched information p.40 Table 4 Place 2 Behavioural Pattern Usage - Developed from researched information p.46 Table 5 Place 3 Amenities place - Developed from researched information p.48 Table 6 Place 3 Behavioural Pattern Usage - Developed from researched information


7 (i) Please note that all information presented in the course of this dissertation was collected during the winter months of 2015/2016. All conclusions and findings are related to knowledge gained in this period of study.

(ii) Abstract

Open spaces are the arteries of cities and towns. Historically, they were orientation points within the dense jungle of unorganised structures surrounding them. They reflected the stature of a city, through trade and economic entertainment and social or cultural gatherings. In today’s society it is hard to argue that many open spaces are still relevant as the key indicators of a city’s wellbeing. High speed internet, smartphones, consumer culture have removed the demand for urban marketplaces while social media and instant messaging have dulled the desire for open space to meet friends or socialise. The weather too, restricts impulse to wander or sit outside when all amenities can be sought in a warm and covered shopping centre. This emergence of peripheral shopping centres and covered malls has changed the definition of ‘urban space’, where it is now unusual for people to go to a place just to simply sit or ‘be’ there. However, there is no denying the psychological benefits of being in a space, experiencing the aura or atmosphere of the environment before you. Public spaces still form the go to places for democracy in action and they still reflect the calm that can be briefly stolen from the busy surrounding city. In Glasgow the dwindling use of public space is evident – as it is in other Scottish cities, which is a problem that needs to be fully understood in order to aide better design of urban spaces to accommodate a changing population and a changing world. Quality of life (QOL) studies explain the level of enjoyment attains from aspects of their of urban life (QOUL) studies

attempt to one person life. Quality attempt to

reach an understanding of how much the urban environment specifically can affect the enjoyment of life through a person’s immersion within it, their experience of it’s functions and use of it’s features. QOUL has become the benchmark by which academics and urban theorists analyse urban spaces to ascertain their success on a humanistic level and to guide improvements to their design for the future. This dissertation will analyse the QOUL of three central urban spaces within Glasgow to create a knowledge base on their success as public spaces. Investigations will be carried out through rigorous research following a structure established by prominent urban theorists. This structure will be defined by indicators, which allows for particular study to be drawn to relevant fields specific to a single place. Incorporating objective information and a behavioural pattern model, a collective image of each space will be formed showing the facilities and spatial benefits it provides, next to the activities and actual use of those facilities by the people (users) that engage with them on a daily basis. Finally, a narrative will be established across all three spaces that attempts to paint a definitive picture of central Glasgow urban space. This will conclude on how effectively the centre of the city is inhabited by the public and provide possible directions future designers/design can go in to greater maximise city centre spaces’ potential.


8 (ii) Introduction

Experiencing enjoyment in our life, as a species, is what we strive for. The knock on effects can range from improving our health and life expectancy (Psychol Bull. 2012) to making us more productive at work (Oswald, A J, Proto E, Sgroi D; Happiness and Productivity; 2014). Although somewhat obvious, studies have found we are nicer people if we are happy, with more friends with better social lives (College social life can predict well being at mid-life; 2015; accessed 14/10/15). As architects, planners or urban designers, we have a duty to facilitate happiness and enjoyment in life through the spaces we create for people to occupy.

Public spaces are vessels for life. Combining beautiful architecture, fine landscapes, wide open spaces and – where possible – nice weather; city squares, parks and piazzas are havens for social interactivity and awash with people enjoying life. They bring a buzz to urban centres and define a portion of a city as the place people want to travel to to end their day, have a meal, meet friends or just sample the atmosphere. Public spaces such as these epitomise national cultures and are synonymous with famous cities around the world from London to Venice, Moscow to Marrakech.

Figure 1 Trafalgar Square, London

Figure 2 Piazza san Marco, Venice

Figure 3 Red Square, Moscow

Figure 4 Djemaa el Fna, Morocco

In Scotland, the feel of a city or town centre typically is eschewed. Although we desire glorious open spaces to stretch out in and to meet and entertain others, we complain about the weather not being nice enough or about the quality of the spaces themselves. We tell ourselves that public spaces such as those in Italy or France or Spain could not work here. As a result, we look for other uses to fill our city centres and to facilitate our reasons for being there. Avenues, streets, junctions and squares – all are designed to maximise commercial and retail outlets. These shops bars, restaurants and covered malls we turn to to fill our urban centres, may satisfy our basic urges but do

they make us feel better for being in them? Do they fill us with excitement upon entering them or make us feel sad when leaving them? How do they affect our enjoyment of life – if at all? Charles Montgomery, author of the book ‘Happy Cities’ sums up that, “the most powerful ingredients in human happiness are strong, positive social interaction” (Montgomery, C; Happy Cities; 2013). Urban environments are the infrastructure that facilitates this.. Therefore, a well designed urban space with thought to how individuals will use the it should reflect positively on happiness in life.


9 In many cases though, the spaces within the built environment largely were not designed for the purposes we use them for today. Neither were they designed for the sheer number of people that use them on a day-today basis. Recent figures released by the World Health Organisation predict that the amount of people living within urban environments will increase by a minimum of 1.5% over the next 15 years. This is in addition to the 54% of the global population that already live within urban centres (Global Health Observatory; accessed 04/01/16). This evolution of dense urban areas has created opportunities for new theories on human habitats, social living and the organisation of spatial environments to emerge. Along side these, there has also arose a requirement to better understand the affect urban environments have on the people living, working and moving within them on a day to day basis. Studies investigating the quality of urban life (QOUL) – a marker on the level of satisfaction gained from living within the built landscape – offer an opportunity to analyse such parameters. QOUL is not to be confused with quality of life (QOL) which analyses individual life happiness on a number of different levels, and although the two are intrinsically linked by the subject matter, they do not directly relate to each other. This dissertation will identify within Chapter 1, what encompasses QOL/QOUL and which aspects of these that are of particular interest to the urban environment within Glasgow city centre. Following a literature review of urban theorists and their established principles for the analysis of QOUL, Chapter 2 will propose a structure for investigation. In line with established research techniques, a series of “indicators” will be presented that deal with issues attributed to QOUL. An overview of Glasgow and its inherent spaces will be carried out in Chapter 3, before 3 selective spaces are chosen for study. These 3 spaces will be justified via a mapping of relevant local issues and their identified importance to the experience of QOUL within Glasgow. Once locations for study have been

acknowledged, the list of established indicators will be streamlined to a only those directly related to the context of spaces examined and their immediate environment. This selection of indicators will be used to look into the spaces in further detail. The investigation will be carried out through two distinct ‘tools’, that allow for a comprehensive and non-biased study of place based around objective and behavioural information. Chapter 4 will set out the information garnered through the analyses of place. Each will have a separate analytical section, with a small dovetailed conclusion. These will then be correlated to form a descriptive picture of the area in question. A composite conclusion will be created in reference to the findings for each space. Chapter 5 will then use these conclusions when forming a critical narrative for the each space, explaining in reflection the usable aspects and any positive or negatives of the space. A general comparison of information gleaned will finally be established from each narrative forming a Conclusion to the study. The success of each space as an urban environment and an explanation of their inherent QOUL to the user’s experience will be suggested, before a series of improvement proposals will finally be offered.


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1.0 Quality of Urban Life and Methods of Examining it 1.1 Quality of Life Quality of life (QOL) can be defined as “the general well-being of a person or society, defined in terms of health and happiness, rather than wealth” (Collins dictionary 2016). It is arguably the cumulative result of eating wholesome foods and consuming clean air, food and water, together with the enjoyment of unfettered spaces and open bodies of water, the conservation of wildlife and natural resources, a security from crime and protection from radiation and toxic substances (the free dictionary, 2016). It is “the personal satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with the cultural or intellectual conditions under which he/she lives.” Although the term has gained recent significance in mainstream media (ted. com; 04/01/16), quality of life is an ancient concept. Eudaimonia, which has become loosely translated to ‘human flourishing’ (Hursthouse, 2007, pg 46) was the central concept to Aristotlean philosophy in ancient Greece, where the ultimate goal of practical philosophy was the ‘highest human good’ and the analysis and consideration of what that meant. In academia, studies of Quality of Life that require different analysis from different fields of study tovvf measurable data (Constanza et al; 2008) However the summative assumption of quality of life tends to rooted in the tangible stuff, such as social interaction and local environmental factors.

1.2 Urban Planning Urban planning established itself in the mid 20th century from the fields of architecture and engineering through the growing need to manage the creation, development and adaption of land in urban environments. It is the “technical and political process concerned

with welfare of the people, control of the use of land, design of the urban environment including transportation and communication networks and the protection and enhancement of the natural environment.” (Mcgill, 2001, pg. 347) In local design, urban planners are the gatekeepers for what gets built and what doesn’t get built according to a set of principles designed for the benefit of the collective urban environment.

1.3 Quality of Urban Life Urban planning impinges on the analysis of quality of life to a certain degree as the welfare of the citizens must also be taken into account when design urban spaces. Although the primary aim of designing a cityscape is the efficient layout, orientation and use of proverbial ‘bricks and mortar’, the practical application requires significant investment in the aspects of the built environment, which the user comes into contact with on a daily basis. These aspects then become the base features of Quality of Urban Life (QOUL). The term conveys physical as well as social attributes of the urban form and blurs the boundary between the tangible and ideological nuances of the world we live in. The QOUL relates to areas such as transportation, ease of access and land use patterns, population and building densities, services and amenities, as well as public health, social interaction and integration, education, disabled access and cultural and religious diversity. These aspects are often considered to be ‘objective’. However, ‘subjective’ personal thoughts and feelings of life can also be considered, also individual preferential factors such as texture, colour, material, sight, sound and smell. In a fundamental sense, QOUL can be termed as the factors that inform on quality of life but tailored to be subservient to the urban environment. Due to the complexities in both cases, the correlation of conclusions on the subject is often hard given the size of variables at play.


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2.0 Methodological Approach to Examining QOUL Quality of life investigations historically comprise of analyses on specific areas of interest without necessarily completing part of a larger picture (Riseborough,1997) – however this line of argument highlights an intriguing exception. Within the UK, QOL studies were popular from the 1950’s to the late 1970s but have since tailed off in favour of more generic studies of urban or rural environments. In parallel with this declination in the UK though, studies into QOL have increased in other European and pan-American countries. An interesting remark, noted by (Mostafa, 2012, pg. 14) is that “quality of life studies have been particularly popular within the international medical community. However, while interest in understanding the

Figure 5 Marans' proposed framework for QOUL study

relationship between quality of life and health in the UK has grown, fundamentally this research tends to overlook important other factors, such as the built environment.”

2.1 Establishing a Research Model Marans and Rodgers (1975) proposed a model of identifying satisfaction with urban environments that was subsequently expanded on, a year later by Campbell, Converse and Rodgers (1976). This model incorporates demographic, social, environmental and economic complexities, while taking into account the different ‘domains’ of life. It can be used for achieving conclusions on complete QOUL within a community or it can be used to identify the more nuanced success of individual spaces.


12 This framework shows the connections between the objective aspects of life in an area of the urban environment and the measure of satisfaction within those spaces, which in turn can be influenced by specific individual preferences or standard of comparison. This model provides a ‘bottom up’ approach, where figures on health or population density might inform on satisfaction within an urban domain, while crime or education statistics may inform on a residential neighbourhood. Then subsequently that domain’s quality of life could come together with satisfaction in other domains to form a well-rounded conclusion of QOUL in a given environment. The information allows mapping from the economic, social and environmental aspects of urban life to the satisfaction of living or

moving through a given area as the paths of each largely cross the same variables.

2.2 Research Approach In their attempt to build on Marans and Rodgers original work, (Constanza et al, 1976, pg. 4) identified two main approaches in analysing quality of urban life. These approaches – subjective analysis and objective analysis – are the basis of a two pronged scope of research that when combined allow a coherent language to form in drawing conclusions. A third approach – behavioural analysis – creates an extra dimension to studying the way users act and move to determine the respective QOL for a given environment.

Objective research - involves examining the quality of urban life within an environment through a set of observable ‘indicators’. These indicators can be formed from observable facts or census information. The indicators chosen reflect the issues or particular circumstances relevant to that life environment. Census information could consist of facts such as household income, crime rates, pollution levels, or housing costs – all officially tracked details with a relative reliability to their origins. Also applicable is an analyses of the environment or space. This includes data such as building type, building quality, amenities available, and accessibility of the space. Subjective research - involves modelling relationships between the urban environment being studied – its inherent anomalies, flaws, strengths and characteristics – with that of user’s subjective assessment of the place. This approach incorporates information collected through survey research methods or interviews, and then examines that information through an analysis technique, compiling lists of the answers achieved and looking for patterns within those answers. Expanding the scope of this research can also take into account specific structures of personal interaction with the space and their general enjoyment of life as whole.

2.3 Avoiding Inconclusive Results These approaches in themselves, although providing a breadth of information across wide ranging fields, do not necessarily inform on QOUL. For instance, observing official data over time can provide useful information on targets being met and missed, trends forming and declining and variation of data results over the course of a survey period. But they do not necessarily inform on the quality of living in that area. Similarly, examining a cross section of society through survey data, can provide information on community level perceptions

of space and environment or degrees of urban satisfaction in a rather opaque and generic sense, but not a fundamental agreement on quality of life. In order to rationalise a useful outcome, the information gleaned from the varied range of sources has to be analysed through comparative modelling to test assumptions and establish a narrative between conclusions drawn from each study. “The nature and strength of linkages need to be tested as understanding them may be important in informing how planning and other policy interventions might contribute to improving


13 the QOUL.” (Marans and Stimson, 2011, pg 12) Where these conclusions overlap hopefully will provide reliable information on QOUL of that space. Upon combining outcomes of each space, the QOUL of a larger area can be measured.

understandable and workable analysis tools. The 3 groups are as follows: RESIDENTIAL – employment rates/per capita income/domestic violence/housing vacancy rates/amount of parkland/vehicle distance travelled/air quality

2.4 Applicable Indicators for Study

These indicators deal with issues that are more fundamental to home life such as residential area choice, material possession, activity and exercise or commuting distances, and therefore not relevant to a study on the QOUL.

In order to fully understand the quality of urban life an environment exhibits, (Marans and Stimson, 2011) propose a set of indicators that act as structure to research. These indicators then inform the direction each analysis takes and underline the area for study. These indicators follow the same pattern as (Constanza et al, 1976) outlined in their seminal work, and adhere to the same objective and subjective analyses patterns. Objective Indicators

- Employment rates - Educational attainment - Per capita Income - Crime Statistics - Domestic Violence - Death rates Incidence of chronic diseases - Air quality - Population density /diversity - Housing vacancy rates - Architectural features - Amount of parkland - Number of public transport riders - Location of transit stop - Provision of amenities available - Public Accessibility - Vehicle km/miles travelled Indicators follow information obtainable from local authority records, government research quotas and academic papers. Although all can be held accountable to explain specific aspects of QOUL in Glasgow, only a select number are relevant to the spaces that will be analysed in this study. The approach initially seeks to arrange the objective indicators into 3 pattern specific groups so as to better break them down into

URBAN – population density/architectural features/number of public transport riders/ location stops/provision of amenities available/public accessibility

These indicators suggest an environment that is defined by high use, with emphasis on ease and quality of the movement of users through spaces and the reasons to visit or exist within those spaces. SOCIAL – educational attainment/crime statistics/death rates of chronic diseases

These indicators appear to relate to more socio-personal issues that might affect, interfere with or otherwise steer an individual person’s life. Indicators to Study The focus of this study is an analysis of the effects of the built environment on the QOUL, therefore the ‘URBAN’ indicators group will outline the characteristics to draw on going forward. These characteristics will be examined in a methodical way in relation to each area of study. The research will include images of the spaces in question as well as diagrams to highlight information where necessary. Statistics, facts and figures relevant to the research will be cited from local authority or government sources and compiled in simple text or, at times, graphical forms. This objective analysis of place will be repeated identically across each area of study to achieve a coherent conclusion on each. Each of these conclusions should therefore


14 have a visible connecting narrative. Subjective Indicators - Feelings about the space - Desire to move - Perceptions of crime - Perceptions of school quality - Perceptions of healthcare quality - Feelings about others using the space - Feelings about rubbish collection - Feelings about congestion + crowding - Feelings about government - Satisfaction with health - Satisfaction with social interaction - Life satisfaction, overall happiness A similar approach is proposed to better organise subjective indicators into more manageable groups. Although where objective indicators are easily identified as belonging to a demographic, subjective opinions are more suitably arranged through question topic. The groups are as follows: GENERAL – feelings about government/ satisfaction with health/life satisfaction and overall happiness

These sub-topics cover a large and potentially vague subject matter, they create the possibility for a wide-range of answers and do not provide an opportunity for distinct relevance to the space being analysed. PUBLIC – feelings about the space/feelings about others using the space/feelings about congestion and crowding in the space/ satisfaction with social interaction

These issues concentrate on the reactions and emotional responses to occupying a place within an urban setting. They foster ideas and thoughts of being in close proximity to high density social spaces and address the impact these spaces have on the user personally RESIDENTIAL – desire to move/perceptions of crime/perceptions of school quality/ perceptions of healthcare quality/feelings about rubbish collection

The matters that a user would contemplate when potentially moving house or looking for a space to start a family are consistent with the issues raised within these topics. Indicators to Study This study is relevant to Glasgow city centre public spaces and the users who occupy them. Therefore, the only group of indicators highlighted above which is relevant to this study is those included in ‘PUBLIC’. However, the excessive number of subjective opinions necessary to provide an adequate crosssection of the centre space users leads to an unrealistic amount of work required to achieve sufficient conclusions from this type of analysis. The answers to a given survey can be exceptionally varied with little or zero control over the range of opinions provided. These could merge together to form a solid argument or, just as easily, veer in different directions, allowing few conclusions to be drawn. Therefore, the subjective approach to understanding QOUL within Glasgow urban spaces will not be attempted within this study. Behavioural Indicators - Public transport use - Participation in sports - Amount of walking and Bicycling - Visits to cultural amenities - Visits to parks - Use of facilities + public furniture - Visits to health clinics - Amount of social interaction - Participation in voluntary activities - Residential mobility Behavioural indicators discuss how a selected user, or group of selected users, use or move through a space and use the functions on offer within that space. They are predominantly applicable on a large scale, i.e. comparing a large quantity of users over large time frames. Nevertheless, the indicators suggested also need refining to better reflect the area of analysis within this study. Therefore 2 the list above has been sorted into the following 2 groups (please note, some indicators are relevant to both groups)


15 RECREATION – participation in sports/ amount of walking and bicycling/visits to cultural amenities/visits to parks/Use of facilities + public furniture/visits to health clinics/amount of social interaction/ participation in voluntary activities/residential mobility URBAN – public transport use/amount of walking and bicycling/amount of social interaction/participation in voluntary activities Indicators to Study – The city centre orientation of this QOUL study necessitates ‘URBAN’ indicators as the only ones viable from the group above. These indicators will be observed through a rigorous framework of time and place dependent spatial studies. Sketches and photographs will be taken of the same location from the same position a

Figure 6 Explanation of analysis structure

number of times, at different times of day and throughout different periods of the week – each plotting the position and activity of the users within the space at that given time. Over time each study will be digitally over lapped to create a clear indication of how the area is used over time, and subsequently develop opinions on the QOUL that user experience within them.

2.5 Approach for this Study Due to the scope of this work, the analysis forms outlined above will correlate to become a dual analysis of QOUL in Glasgow city centre. Objective analysis of selected spaces will for the remaining extent of this text be referred to as ‘Place Portfolios’. Similarly, behavioural studies will be furthermore referred to as


16 ‘Behavioural Mapping of Space’. Figure 6 below visualises the work flow which will be carried out in the analysis of each.

2.6 Objective Analysis Methodology A fact based study documenting the urban environment of each place will be produced to indicate a description of the place, its character and its function to the city. All aspects that make the place unique within the urban environment of Glasgow city centre will be considered. Information will be primarily sourced from up to date public sector reviews of Glasgow, local council figures and masterplan survey information These indicators will include:

Figure 7 Explanation of objective analysis

- - - - -

Main buildings Architectural features Provision of amenities available Public accessibility to the space Diversity of movement

Each indicator will be explored from the fundamental issue of how it affects user experience. Whether on a psychological or physical level each will have an interface that shapes a persons use of space and ultimately resonates in their impression of being in that space. A conclusion will tie together these aspects to create a narrative that defines the place and the likely influences it has in drawing people to it, keeping them them and how it influences their enjoyment of life while they’re there.


17 2.7 Behavioural Mapping Analysis Methodology Figure 8 illustrates the graphic approach to the study. This layout of information will be presented to examine the level of interaction between users and their interaction with the built environment during their occupation or traversal of the space. In order to understand more of their purpose for using the space, their level and instance of activity will be collated as well. The number of activities occurring will reveal the types of actions that users partake in and suggest the common places visited or features being used. The end result expected from this direct observation is an establishment of the scale of use across the space as a whole. Figure 9 illustrates the analytical approach. A composite graphic – combining information gathered on weekdays and weekends – will deliver a visible pattern of use collated from the similarities or differences between day to day use. Considered alongside these patterns of activity will also be estimations of the users demographic which will help to provide a

Figure 9 Behavioural mapping process (above), Figure 8 Example layout of behaviour analysis map with key below (opposite page)


18 clearer understanding of the type of people using the space. These points are brought together into relationships which form the key area of focus for this part of the study: - The relationship between the user and movement in the space - The relationship between the user, their activity and design features of the space Analysis of data collected in this research will generate an overview of the similarities and differences in day to day use of the space, potentially predicting future usage and suggesting relationships between the designed features of the space and people’s actual use of them. Week-day Observations Analysis will take place at peak times of usage throughout the day over the course of a 5 day week, these include: Mornings 07.30am – 09.30am Midday 12.00pm – 14.00pm Evening 17.30pm – 19.30pm These times during the week will typically observe those travelling to work, school or university in the mornings, perhaps those travelling further afield on public transport. They will document lunch routines and movement patterns of local office workers or University students, usage of benches and walls as urban furniture, and social interaction. During evening hours, commutes home will be observed, as will the initial revellers to bars, restaurants and other evening entertainment including instances of photography, leisurely walks or reading.

Weekend Observations Analysis will take place over the same peak times as weekday studies: Mornings Midday Evening

07.30am – 09.30am 12.00pm – 14.00pm 17.30pm – 19.30pm

Although the observations within this portion of research will likely include less direct movement, consumers shopping will likely provide a large base of observable use. Casual interactions, social meetings, demonstrations, street advertisements and busking consist of a few possible interactions more like to be observed during the weekend. The level to which these are evident will help to illustrate the importance of the space to people, their desire to spend time there and its useful function in their lives. In order to distinguish patterns of use and interactions within the spaces, two relationships were established. Composite Mapping “To understand cities, we have to deal with outright with the combinations or mixtures of uses, not separate uses, as the essential phenomenon” (Jacobs, 1961, pg. 37) In order to understand the use of space as a pattern, figure 10 has been compiled to show each study layered on top of each other. The result reflects the major avenues of movement and correlates pauses and social interactions into discernable spots or areas, also highlighting areas of underused space. The colour has been inverted to clearer show the instances of each.


19

Figure 10 Example of composite map with key


20

Figure 9 Outline of behavioural mapping analysis


21

3.0 Mapping Current Glasgow Issues to Analytical Approaches (Salama and Azzali, 2014) suggest that once the analytical approach is demonstrated, identifying spaces in which to carry out the investigation is the next step. Within the city centre of Glasgow, there initially appears a dozen or so spaces which could – at face value – prompt reason for analysis into their QOUL. These spaces demonstrate wide variety of pedestrian movement through them and facilities available within them but before further consideration is made, they allow for an inclusive selection of spaces that cater to the local community. - - - - - - - - - - -

Sauchiehall Street Buchannan Street St Enoch Square George Square Argyle Street Royal Exchange Square Ingram Street Charing Cross Glasgow Green Kelvingrove Park Broomielaw and the Riverside

The next step is to analyse the current local urban and socio-economic environment of the city to better format a picture of which areas represent a fundamental space for the city. From here the list of spaces earmarked for investigation can be reduced to a manageable level.

3.1 Glasgow’s Urban Environment Current population statistics show Glasgow as the largest population by mass in Scotland, although this collection of people doesn’t translate into economic prosperity. Glasgow employment levels continue to lag behind other population bodies within Scotland. An annual population study by (NOMIS, 2014) calculated 65.6% of working age Glaswegian

are in full or part time employment, a depreciation of 7% from the Scottish average. This is despite Glasgow having a greater jobs-per-resident density than any other Scottish population centre other than Aberdeen. Unemployment currently sits at approximately 9% although close to 30% of households do not have an employed adult resident, this figure also largely reflects the percentile of children growing up in poverty. The figures though, only provide on part of Glasgow’s urban environment. The city has seen a dramatic increase in the last 10 to 15 years in the many aspects of local life as new job markets have opened and prosperity is being found in the form of a strong financial district, prosperous IT sector and a large and successful student population. Recent £700m investment in Glasgow’s urban centre has resulted in the completion of the International Financial Services District and the regeneration of the Merchant city (Getting ahead of Change; 2013). A series of campaigns and initiatives have improved cleanliness and the feel of the urban environment while having the positive effect of promoting tourism. These include ‘Glasgow Safer City’ initiative, ‘Clean Glasgow’ and ‘City of Lights’ strategy. Further to this, the success of city centre outlying shopping and retail districts has led to Glasgow being second only to London as a retail destination. However, there are still problems associated with the urban centre which require addressing to continue growth in the coming years. Glasgow – although designed and evolved along the highly innovative grid system – did not have long-term future population density and urban usage patterns in mind from the outset. Therefore, today it suffers from the same problems as other Scottish and UK urban environments, such as traffic congestion, bottlenecking, poor cycling network, poor parking availability and poorly structured public space (City Centre transport strategy; draft 2014). Added to this as are a selection of vacant and disused plots and a number of dominating and uncoordinated commercial centres.


22 3.2 Characterising Glasgow’s Urban Space Glasgow’s central open spaces are typically defined as ‘movement centres’. The urban environment itself suffers from a loosely structured and spread out central region – stretching from Sauchiehall St in the relative north west, down through Buchannan St and George Square, to Argyle street in the south east and on to Glasgow Green on the river side. These spaces handle different functions but ultimately form the bulk of the what could be defined as the city centre. With the exception of Glasgow Green, it could be argued that Glasgow’s public space are principally a series conduits that co-feed one another, neither being the end destination nor the starting line. As public transport routes feed into this and amenities form offshoots along each path this network of co-existing public spaces forms a symbiotic relationship with each other. Therefore, to analyse the urban heart of Glasgow, these connecting spaces need to be considered as single entities before a conclusion can be made on the area as a whole. (Jane Jacobs, 1961, pg 72) argues that “it is so easy to fall into the trap of contemplating a city’s uses one at a time, by categories, use by use” but in order to fully appreciate these areas, it is necessary to think of these spaces as cradles for a multitude of uses throughout the day. .

3.3 Refinement of Place

Identifying areas within Glasgow’s central movement spine is the key to creating a coherent analysis of the quality of the space as a whole. This is primarily due to the arrangement spaces in this area will provide a good cross section of function, arterial connection and open space, but also as this axis is a destination point for many secondary routes and infrastructure. Trains, buses and tourist routes terminate here and shopping centres restaurants and bars are located adjacent or just off these streets. This analysis and the necessity to formalise space

into readable junctions of important routes, connection points for key transport systems, locations of efficient bundles of amenities and the identification of spike points in pedestrian density leads to the removal of green spaces and parks and outlying shopping, bar or restaurant orientated streets from a prospective analytical list. This reasoning eliminates Ingram Street, Kelvingrove Park and Glasgow Green while Charing Cross is removed due its peripheral location. Royal Exchange Square is a fragmented area that doesn’t follow the layout of a functioning square and is fragmented with a main transport route bisecting it. This is removed along with Argyle Street as although its primary function is shopping and has with a strong transport axis running along it, the open space it occupies repeatedly degrades and fractures along its length and is without a clear focal point.

3.4 Identification of Key Spaces The result of this process leaves the study with a focus on Sauchiehall Street, Buchannan Street and George Square. However, the length of Sauchiehall St is a detrimental factor and must be shortened. The length of Buchanan street must also be restricted for ease of the investigation. The intersection of Buchanan and Sauchiehall St – incorporating Glasgow Concert Hall steps – is therefore proposed, as is the intersection of Buchannan St, Gordon Street and Exchange Place. The final place for analysis will be George Square. Concluding, the formalised areas proposed for study within this dissertation will be; PLACE 1 –

George Square

PLACE 2 – Buchannan/ G|ordonStIntersection PLACE 3 –

Intersection of Sauchiehall St at Buchanan Galleries steps


23

4.0 Analysis of Place Portfolios 4.1 Place 1 Portfolio

Figure 11 Layout of Place Portfolio 1

Overview George Square is the “Pantheon of Glasgow” (Somerville, 1891, pg. 8). It is the primary civic square and most visited tourist space within the city of Glasgow (City Center Health Check, 2015). Laid out in 1781, it was designed in accordance to the grid system championed by the Scottish Enlightenment and is today colloquially thought of as the ‘center’ of Glasgow. The square has undergone many transformations since its inception, predominantly in recent memory, though it has nevertheless retained its importance as the meeting place for friends, families, social gatherings and demonstrations. Large civic celebrations and events are also often held within the space – during festive Winter months, the square plays host to an ice rink and fairground while its highly central position and large open space made it an ideal visitor commercial hub for the Commonwealth Games.

Architectural Style The following buildings collectively form an ornate collar to George Square. They take a lot of influences from the renaissance and classical Italian architecture with the City Chambers’ building forming an elaborate centre piece. The urban plot scale is approximately 3:1, allowing for width of spaces between urban blocks to be almost 3 times as wide as the buildings on either side are tall.


24

Architect – William young Date completed – 1887 Style – Classical/Italian Renaissance 4 storeys around a square city block, with a domed turret on each corner of the façade bordering George Square. Turrets and central tower inspired by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson’s St Vincent Street Church. (Relevant Search Scotland, 2016)

Architect – Robert Matheison Date completed – 1878 Style – Classical/Italianate Italianate facade design along each side with elaborate glass and sun houses within the upper floor. Refurbishment project in 2006 the internal structure was removed to be replaced by offices, (George square heritage trail, 2014) Figure 12 Glasgow City Chambers (top), Figure 13 Old Post Office Building (above)


25

Architect - J. T. Rucheadin Date completed – 1870 vStyle – Italian Renaissance The Bank of Scotland building now serves as a series of restaurants and bars on the ground floor, with office accommodation on the upper levels. (George square heritage trail, 2014)

Architect – John Burnet Date completed – 1877 Style – Italian Palazzo Style The building covers 7 storeys with a sculpture of a fully rigged Merchant Navy vessel perched on a domed tower in the northwest corner. Both facades feature excessive ornate sculptural additions, such as elaborate reclining women forming the structure beneath the windows. (Somerville, 1891) Figure 14 Bank of Scotland building (top), Figure 15 Merchants’ House (above)


26 Amenities

Table 1 Place 1 observed amenities


27 Accessibility Buses 2 stops located 25m from the northwest corner of the square outside Queen Street station. 1 stop immediately to the north perimeter of the square and 1 on the western perimeter. The stop along the west side of the square also serves as the departure point for local citywide bus tours. Train Queen Street station is 50m from northwest corner of the square. This station allows visitors from Edinburgh and Northern Scotland to emerge directly onto George Square upon their arrival into Glasgow Taxi The closest taxi rank is 100m to the west of the square along George St. Car Ingress of regular traffic occurs along 3 main routes. These consist of arrival from the south along Queen St, arrival from the west along George St and arrival from the east along Cochrane St. Parking is abundant along all sides of the square. Bike Bikes are fully accessible and encouraged throughout the space. There is secure locking facilities and a pick up point for Glasgow city public hire bikes at a stop along the northeast boundary of the square. (NextBike,2014) Foot The area of study is orientated to pedestrians Is fully accessible to pedestrians along all 4 sides. The pavement surrounding the space blends seamlessly with the space itself. The only hindrance to pedestrian movement through the space is the roads/vehicular traffic that separate the square on all 4 sides itself from the surrounding urban space.

Diversity of Movement People occupy in the square at different times due to different needs and uses. The square hosts offices and restaurants within buildings along the periphery and university and college buildings further afield. The Council chambers and train station that sit adjacent, which in conjunction with the square’s prominent position on the route to the nearby amenities of the Merchant City, creates an eclectic diversity of movement. Students, office workers, community members, travellers and shoppers all travel through the square by day. Benches will allow for outdoor lunches and social meet-ups There are also a number of families and residents who use the space as a leisure facility or simply to stop and watch the world go by. By night the statues and prominent buildings become backdrops to photos and journeys to and from bars and restaurants on adjoining streets.


28

4.2 Place 1 Behavioural Study

Monday 22nd February 2016 08.00h – 08.20h (Morning) 5 degrees Celsius Dry/Sunny No. People observed = 135

Tuesday 16th February 2016 13.00h – 13.20h (Lunchtime) 7 degrees Celsius Very rainy No. People observed = 81

Friday 19th February 2016 13.00h – 13.20h (Lunchtime) 4 degrees Celsius Rainy/Windy No. People observed = 177

Wednesday 17th February 2016 17.00h – 17.20h (Dusk) 3 degrees Celsius Dry No. People observed = 81

Weekday Conclusions The square is observed to be primarily a traversal space over the periods of study illustrated above. Users are observed to be moving mostly by themselves in a northeasterly south-westerly direction, although the periphery pavements are regularly used as well. This indicates movement following the path of least resistance which may represent people travelling to and from work or school with little or no desire to spend more time than they have to in the place. Pauses in motion are brief and occur largely on the outer edge of the square as people wait to cross the road. Small interactions between people happen invariable along the movement axis

although the occasional long pause, deep conversation, photo opportunity or telephone call occurs sporadically throughout the area. The provision of benches are regularly used, if only for short intervals. During these periods, peoples use of the square is functionary and very little besides. The occasional local office worker will enjoy lunch on a bench or tourist will examine a monument, these events happen in rain or shine which suggest the brief respite the square can provide. But seemingly the unique attractions of the space are largely lost on the user as people move through it without being affected by the presence of environment around them.

Figure 17 Mon am 22.02.16 (top left), Figure 18 Tues lunch 16.02.16 (top right) Figure 19 Fri lunch 19.02.16 (bottom left) , Figure 20 Wed pm 17.02.16 (bottom left)


29

Friday 19th February 2016 17.00h – 17.20h (Dusk) 5 degrees Celsius Rainy No. People observed = 89

Saturday 20th February 2016 13.00h – 13.20h (Lunchtime) 5 degrees Celsius Light rain No. People observed = 104

Sunday 21st February 2016 13.00h – 13.20h (Lunchtime) 6 degrees Celsius Rainy/Mild No. People observed = 98

Sunday 14th February 2016 17.00h – 17.20h (Dusk) 2 degrees Celsius Dry No. People observed = 74

Weekend Conclusions Weekend observations paint a much looser picture of the square as an urban passageway. The predominant movement is that of public ‘meanderings’ with no specific destination, often including stoppages at monuments and benches. There is a greater amount of long pauses in the square as well as an obvious increase in the amount of people relaxing or engaging in social activities. These social activities often take place, or are arranged around one of the many statues. These findings suggest that, when not pressed to be somewhere the square holds an intrinsic appeal to people as a place to enjoy a lazy afternoon away from the busy shopping

streets nearby. The beauty of the surrounding architecture, the greenness of the grass and the amount of open sky creates a soothing and enjoyable atmosphere which is tangible from the relaxed conversation heard and pace of activity seen occurring. The only definitive movement axis occurs in the evening, between northwest and southeast corners, and can be explained by people slowly moving through the square on there way to night life amenities located in the Merchant City.

Figure 21 Fri pm 19.02.16 (top left), Figure 22 Sat lunch 20.02.16 (top right) Figure 23 Sun lunch 21.02.16 (bottom left), Figure 24 Sun pm 14.02.16 (bottom left)


30 Composite information

Figure 25 Composite map place 1 (top) Table 2 Behavioural Pattern Usage Place 1 (above)


31 Composite information Conclusion

Obvious straight away, is the extent of movement from northeast corner to southwest corner and from east to west and along the northern edge of the square. Clearly is is a popular transition point for people moving to other parts of the city. However, the majority of brief interactions (108) also take place along these routes, suggesting that entering the square prompts people to feel comfortable enough to slow down. The open feel compared to the cramped pavements elsewhere in the city form an oasis of sorts, visibly changing the user’s action. People were observed looking around at the statues, green lawns and up towards the architecture even during the quickest traversals of the area. The number of longer pauses and sustained social interactions tend to take place off these routes in a more spontaneous pattern. Many slower journeys follow an indirect route from entrance to a seat via a statue, or past several statues before moving out and away. The longest periods of time spent in the area saw users simply chatting in small groups separated from each other by large distances of free space. The volume of pedestrian traffic is mainly single people moving alone during weekday mornings with a large proportion of 2-person groups also present at lunch times and evenings. The presence of larger groups shows this space also facilitates social gatherings and meet-ups, a trend which is highlighted at weekends when larger groups gather and movement is distinctly more casual and indirect “Convertible, people orientated spaces, that accommodate a range of different

functions over a 24hour period” or at different times of the year serve as “exemplary and successful” examples of urban space (Wolfe, 2013). Despite wet weather on 5 of the 8 days studied, use remained constant. This shows that locals have a penchant visitng and are willing to come whenever they can, albeit in fewer number and in briefer instances. In this respect, the lack of shelter in what is otherwise an open expanse is a distinct drawback. The road that runs the perimeter of the square serves to though intimidates users, separating people from being ‘IN’ the square from being ‘OUTSIDE’ of it. Removal of the road would present an all inclusive space running from boundary to boundary of surrounding buildings and potentially give parents peace of mind in letting their children play there.


32


33

4.3 Place 2 Portfolio

Overview Buchannan Street forms the central axis and thoroughfare of Glasgow city centre’s public space and shopping district. The length of pedestrianized street between St Enoch Square to the South and Glasgow Royal Concert hall in the north – dubbed the ‘Style Mile’ – is consistently listed among the best retail districts in the UK. Originally arranged in 1777, the street became a successful Victorian shopping district before avoiding being included in the wider Glasgow tram network. Following dilapidation to parts over the mid 20th century, the street was pedestrianized in 1978 and landscaped at the turn of the millennium. The intersection at Gordon Street and South Exchange and Royal Bank Place marked the northern perimeter of Buchannan St for 25 years before the remaining sector of street was opened. Currently it serves as the major artery for foot travel between Central and Queen Street stations. It also links the transport hubs Figure 26 Layout of Place Portfolio 2 (above)

around Central station to offices, shops and restaurants between the city centre, George Square and the Merchant City. The corner is a popular location for buskers, charity workers and other impromptu street performances. Architectural Style The prominent buildings in this area all feature on street corners. This suggests the fact that Buchannan St has movement at its heart, and that the entrance into the space is considered special. This also betrays the fact that it has historically been a centre of wealth and a higher status of commercial and retail outlets. (Glasgow History, 2014) The important buildings portray Renaissance and Baroque influences which reflects the grandeur of owning, designing or inhabiting a building on this street. The placement of fine buildings along this space hints that those who enter should be aware they are they are moving into an important place.


34

tArchitect – A G Sydney Mitchel Date completed – 1887 Style – Free Renaissance Dominates the intersection of streets. 5 storey octagonal corner tower, toped with a dormered dome and lantern. An open octagonal entrance vestibule on the corner features a ribbed vault, angled shafts and sculpted lunettes. A prominent wrought iron lamp is suspended out into the street, while 3 decorative iron gates form the security enclosure of the building. (historicscotland. gov) Currently houses ‘TGI Fridays’

tArchitect – Thomson & Sandilands Date completed – 1898 Style – French Renaissance Guards one side of the entrance to Royal Exchange Square. The 4 storey building is clad in buff coloured Dunmore stone and adorned by intricately detailed friezes, humanistic masks and herald devices. The windows onto Buchannan St have richly carved pediments, an ornate oriel window dominates the second floor while a corner tower indicates the entrance. (Scran,2015) Currently occupying this building is the Nationwide Building Society and Thomas Pink tailors at ground level with office space on the upper floors. Figure 27 Corner building, 113-115 Buchannan St (top), Figure 28 106 Buchanan St (above)


35

Architect – J M Dick Peddie Date completed – 1900/alterations 1953 Style – Classical Baroque A symmetrical commercial building with 5 storeys, the building features an arrangement of 7x7 bays with polished ashlar stone covering the ground and first floors. An arched main entrance leading from St Vincent street is framed by ionic pilasters and sculpted pediment. Alexander Pye oversaw alterations.

Figure 29 National Bank Chambers, 137 Buchannan St (above)


36 Amenities

Table 3 Place 2 observed amenities


37

Accessibility Train Glasgow Central station is 300m west along Gordon Street. This station allows ingress and egress from Edinburgh, southern Scotland and the rest of the UK. Buses 1 bus stop on St Vincent Street travelling east, approximately 75m from the area of study. A further allotment of stops is located along Hope Street, approximately 300m to the west along Gordon Street, past Central Station. Taxi The closest taxi rank is located 300m to the west, along Gordon Street, adjacent to Glasgow Central train station. Car Buchanan St is a pedestrianized space, vehicles can pass through only for retail delivery, maintenance and emergency purposes. St Vincent street is the closest intersection of vehicle traffic, directly adjacent north of the area of study where traffic flows east towards George Square. There is restricted parking along this street. The closest car park is on Mitchel Street, 250m to the southwest. Bike Bikes are fully accessible and encouraged throughout the space. Secure locking facilities are located on the intersection with St Vincent Street and on the corner of 106 Buchanan St at the entrance to South Glasgow Exchange.

Foot The area of study is orientated to pedestrians. Good surface materials, high-luminosity round the clock lighting, bins, benches, plants and other foliage cover are provided for the benefit of encouraging people to walk through the space. Diversity of Movement People occupy in the square at different times due to different needs and uses. The square hosts offices and restaurants within buildings along the periphery and university and college buildings further afield. The Council chambers and train station that sit adjacent, which in conjunction with the square’s prominent position on the route to the nearby amenities of the Merchant City, creates an eclectic diversity of movement. Students, office workers, community members, travellers and shoppers all travel through the square by day. Benches will allow for outdoor lunches and social meet-ups There are also a number of families and residents who use the space as a leisure facility or simply to stop and watch the world go by. By night the statues and prominent buildings become backdrops to photos and journeys to and from bars and restaurants on adjoining streets.

Figure 30 Source Glasgow City Center – Economic Health Check 2015


38

4.4 Place 2 Behavioural Study

Monday 22nd February 2016 08.00h – 08.20h (Morning) 4 degrees Celsius Dry/Sunny No. People observed = 118

Wednesday 17th February 2016 17.00h – 17.20h (Dusk) 3 degrees Celsius Dry/Cold No. People observed = 123

Tuesday 16th February 2016 13.00h – 13.20h (Lunch) 5 degrees Celsius Rainy/Cold No. People observed = 150

Wednesday 17th February 2016 13.00h – 13.20h (Lunchtime) 5 degrees Celsius Light rain No. People observed = 198

Weekday Conclusions This space handles large volumes of people at all times of the day. Central station to the west along Gordon street is a key transport hub for commuters and shoppers who then proceed along an east/west through the area of study. The relatively wide junction into Buchanan from Gordon St does not get used to its extents with pinch points instead forming at the corners. Movement follows a somewhat ordered pattern with predominantly south bound pedestrian traffic moving along the west side of the space and north bound users staying to the east. This creates an anti-clockwise rhythm. The amenities located along the periphery of the street are a secondary facility and paradoxically hinder movement. The instances of brief pauses often reflect window shoppers who have caught their eye on something upon passing, which backs people up and forces detours, creating further bottle necks within the space. When this happens, the passage of large numbers of people in two directions becomes awkward. When longer pauses do occur these tend to be focus on musical buskers who popularly line the peripheries of the space – the good spot is in front of the TGI Friday’s restaurant – mainly at lunch times and evenings. The ‘Doctor Who’ Police Box also draws small crowds of intrigued tourists.

Figure 31 Mon am 22.02.16 (top left), Figure 32 Tues Lunch 16.02.16 (top right) Figure 33 Wed Lunch 17.02.16 (bottom left), Figure 34 Wed pm 17.02.16 (bottom left)


39

Saturday 20th February 2016 13.00h – 13.20h (Lunchtime) 7 degrees Celsius Light rain No. People observed = 260

Sunday 21st February 2016 13.00h – 13.20h (Lunchtime) 6 degrees Celsius Very rainy/Windy No. People observed = 156

Weekend Conclusions The level of people increases as studies were carried out at weekends. This varies according to weather, as people don’t have an otherwise important reason to use the space on rainy days. The urban environment does not include shelter and only contains minimal benches, therefore there is nothing to attract people. Dry periods see large volumes of users which puts strain on the space. Urban facilities are seldom used; bins, benches and planters are occasionally even a hindrance to people walking past them. The mentality is simply to get to their destination. Any brief pauses are not noticeably different to other days of the week, with the majority of instances around the street edge. The occurrences of people dwelling longer though are often more centrally based, and in larger numbers. Activities when they do occur, are fleeting, such as engaging with charity advertisers, using a bank machine or watching a busker. The size of groups increases weekends, as families spend free time together, friends meet up and bars and restaurant revellers travel between destinations.

Figure 35 Sat Lunch 20.02.16 (top left), Figure 36 Sun Lunch 21.02.16 (top right) Figure 37 Sat pm 20.02.16 (bottom left), Figure 38 Sun pm 14.02.16 (bottom left)

Saturday 20th February 2016 17.00h – 17.20h (Dusk) 5 degrees Celsius Very rain No. People observed = 405

Sunday 14th February 2016 17.00h – 17.20h (Dusk) 1 degree Celsius Dry/Sunny No. People observed = 159


40 Composite information

Figure 39 Composite map place 2 (top) Table 4 Behavioural Pattern Usage Place 2 (above)


41 Composite information Conclusion 2 axis of movement are clear from the composite map; north to south/south to north and the avenues of travel between Gordon Street and Royal Bank Place/South Exchange Place. This indicates the basic function of this space – it is a convergence between places and is not a destination in itself. That said, the style and quality of architecture at the corners, the high quality of urban floor, the provision of trees, and street-lighting would be expected to at least influence people while they are there. The majority of brief pauses occur at the intersection with St Vincent St – on the way out of the space. And if those are discounted from the argument, the next likelihood of people pausing, is to look into shops. Therefore, although there are aspects of the space that could be enjoyed or at the very least used, people don’t recognise them as such. Those who do stop don’t really look around them. When bad weather ensues these negative aspects of the place are exaggerated given the lack of any shelter or stopping point for people to seek respite in.


42


43

4.5 Place 3 Portfolio

Overview The corner which forms the junction of Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street is one of the most important moments in the urban realm of Glasgow city centre. It culminates the end of the central north-south axis of the centre of the city and marks the beginning of a historic east-west link. In recent years the space has emerged as a prominent open urban environmentt in itself, dominated by the stepped entrance to the concert hall where demonstrations and public gatherings are popular, as are buskers and their impromptu audiences. The steps form ad hoc seating, a vital commodity which is otherwise lacking in the city centre. This allows attractive views down Buchanan St for photographers and sight see-ers . (Save The Steps Campaign, 2015).

Figure 41 Layout of Place Portfolio 3

Architectural Style Dominated by the concert hall and Buchanan Galleries, an imposing aura achieves mixed results. The concert hall initially creates a towering presence over the space, with classically influenced, post-modern detailing above a street level of shop fronts. Complimentary similarities with the Senate of Rome University (Walker, 1992) suggests a success of the building as a marker for such a prominent city center junction. However, the increased scale and massive nature of the added Buchanan dwarfs the simple Victorian mansion houses opposite, leaving a somewhat disjointed urban fabric


44

Architect – Sir Leslie Martin/RMJM Date Completed – 1990 Style – Post Modern/Neo Classical Designed to replace St Andrew’s Hall “what emerged was a piece of stripped down classicism that makes Bucharest look interesting” (Walker, 1992). Martin’s design features an auditorium to the north and was proposed with a shopping center to the west and south. A concave south entrance, influenced by Martin’s RSAMD and Mackintosh’s Art School, is fronted by a rotunda of steps facing down Buchanan St. Clad in plain Yorkshire sandstone, the building carries a massive monumentality, loosely described as having ‘an inter-war Continental flavor’ (Rodgers, 1999).

Architect – Jenkins & Marr Date Completed – 1998 Style – Post Modern/Neo-classical The building covers the area south and east of the auditorium space, coming to reside above Queen Street Station. Granite and sandstone cladding incorporates punch through windows, heavy cornicing and turrets finished by a drum tower on the south west corner. Extensive glazing across the entire façade provides light into a deep floor plan. The building was labeled “a dogs breakfast” (Prosser, 1998, p.152) Figure 42 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (top), Figure 43 Buchanan Galleries (above)


45

Architect – Sir Leslie Martin/RMJM Date Completed – 1990 Style – n/a Features – Not a building but still a relevant piece of urban environment. The steps are the largest congregation of informal public realm seating space in the city center. They also form an integral socio-political point within the city, synonymous with democratic demonstrations and protest. In day to day use they are widely used as a spot for lunch, a gathering point for social arrangements or a back drop for buskers.

Figure 44 Royal Concert Hall Steps


46 Amenities

Table 5 Observed amenities place portfolio 3t


47

Accessibility Buses Buchanan Street Bus Station, Glasgow’s primary bus station, is directly behind the concert hall. A number of bus stops are also located to the west along West Nile Street and to the east along Cathedral Street.

benefit of encouraging people to walk through the space. People mainly circulate from Sauchiehall St travelling further south down Buchanan street and vice-versa. The space is wheelchair accessible with the exception of the rotunda steps to the front of the concert hall. (GRCH,2016)

Train The nearest railway station is Queen Street Station which is a approximately 150m south of the space. Buchanan St Subway stop is also 100m south along Buchanan St.

Diversity of Movement The area to the front of the rotunda and steps has been measured as part of Glasgow’s ‘Style Mile’ initiative to average around 1.3million, with an increase to 1.5million people throughout the busy summer months. The chart shows notable increases in footfall during the winter months, this is due to increased festive shopping and entertainment. The analysis suggest higher footfall due to the large collections of restaurants, pubs, clubs, bars, music venues and theatres located along Sauchiehall Street. (Glasgow City Centre Health Check 2015)

Taxi There is a taxi rank located within Buchanan Bus Station. Car There is limited access through the space to motorised traffic. This is predominantly to cater for delivery, maintenance and emergency vehicles. Bike Bike travel is fully accesible along the axis of the street. Secure locking facilities are located on the intersections with Cathedral Street and West Nile Street. Foot The space is orientated to pedestrian travel. As with Place 2, good surface materials, round the clock lighting, bins, benches, plants and other foliage cover are provided for the

Figure 46 Source Glasgow City Center – Economic Health Check 2015


48

4.6 Place 3 Behavioural Study

Monday 22nd February 2016 08.00h – 08.20h (am) 2 degrees Celsius Dry/Sunny No. People observed = 137

Tuesday 9th February 2016 13.00h – 13.20h (Lunchtime) 4 degrees Celsius Light rain No. People observed = 146

Friday 12th February 2016 13.00h – 13.20h (Lunchtime) 4 degrees Celsius Mild/Sunny No. People observed = 221

Tuesday 9th February 2016 17.00h – 17.20h (Dusk) Dry/Mild

Weekday Conclusions The number of users within this space is distinctly lower than other points in the ‘Style Mile’, which in part is due to a fracturing as they move further north up Buchanan St. Weekday observations suggest that this space is not used to its full potential. Pedestrian traffic tends to remain on the inside of the curve, closest to the shop fronts and away from urban furniture, bins or otherwise open space. Anyone entering the area will make their way into it as efficiently as possible. Many small pauses and brief social interactions occur regardless of time of study, although particularly, lunchtimes sees peak interaction. These instances occur

within and outwith the avenue of movement, around bins and in many cases on the steps towards the entrance of the concert hall. The half open nature of this space, with only one street side really devoted to shop-frontage allows people to rest with their backs to the wall without fear of getting in other’s way. Regardless of weather, the activity and movement here is slower. Where the bend in the street occurs its also common for users to wander out of the line of traffic and briefly stop in the open space to make a phone call, have a cigarette or take a picture. These actions give the space the feel of an ‘accidental public space’ – one that people use without realising they’re using it.

Figure 47 Mon am 22.02.16 (top left), Figure 47 Tues Lunch 09.02.16 16.02.16 (top right) Figure 48 Fri Lunch 12.02.16 (bottom left), Figure 50 Tues pm 09.02.16 (bottom left)

4 degrees Celsius No. People observed = 87


49

Friday 19th February 2016 17.00h – 17.20h (Dusk) Very Rainy

2 degrees Celsius No. People observed = 275

Saturday 13th February 2016 13.00h – 13.20h (Lunchtime) 3 degrees Celsius Very rainy/cold No. People observed = 200

Saturday 20th February 2016 13.00h – 13.20h (Lunchtime) 6degrees Celsius Very rainy/Cold No. People observed = 233

Sunday 14th February 2016 17.00h – 17.20h (Dusk) Dry/Cold

Weekday Conclusions The number of users within this space is distinctly lower than other points in the ‘Style Mile’, which in part is due to a fracturing as they move further north up Buchanan St. Weekday observations suggest that this space is not used to its full potential. Pedestrian traffic tends to remain on the inside of the curve, closest to the shop fronts and away from urban furniture, bins or otherwise open space. Anyone entering the area will make their way into it as efficiently as possible. Many small pauses and brief social interactions occur regardless of time of study, although particularly, lunchtimes sees peak interaction. These instances occur

within and outwith the avenue of movement, around bins and in many cases on the steps towards the entrance of the concert hall. The half open nature of this space, with only one street side really devoted to shop-frontage allows people to rest with their backs to the wall without fear of getting in other’s way. Regardless of weather, the activity and movement here is slower. Where the bend in the street occurs its also common for users to wander out of the line of traffic and briefly stop in the open space to make a phone call, have a cigarette or take a picture. These actions give the space the feel of an ‘accidental public space’ – one that people use without realising they’re using it.

Figure 51 Fri pm 19.02.16 (top left), Figure 52 Sat Lunch 13.02.16 (top right) Figure 53 Sat Lunch 20.02.16 (bottom left), Figure 54 Sun pm 14.02.16(bottom left)

2 degrees Celsius No. People observed = 188


50 Composite information

Figure 55 Composite map Place Portfolio 3 (top) Table 6 Observed Usage Place Portfolio 3 (above)


51 Composite information Conclusion

A dispersal occurs as people move tightly along the edge of the shop front as the street bends, before dissipating in a radial arc. Brief pauses mainly transpired as window shoppers or spontaneous social meetings. These random encounters often lead to those involved moving outwards in search of more comfortable open space for a longer chat. A selection of amenities around the northern periphery of the space create reason for being there but these are disconnected from the urban environment through a lack of outdoor seating. A small trickle of cyclists and skateboarders suggest the area, full of potential street furniture to interpret, is either too busy or too awkward to prompt further interaction. Open space between the steps and pavement promotes buskers and street performances, while the steps become seating. 3 clear spatial orientation points have been identified around the space (south of Buchanan Galleries entrance/east of Topman entrance/west of Sainsbury’s entrance) which allow users space to collect their bearings, breath or family members before moving on.


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5.0 Narrative of Public Spaces in Glasgow

5.2 A Movement Space

at all times of use. These people stay largely to the perimeter of the space though unless crossing through towards Royal Exchange Square. This creates a circular motion of people moving westward and eastward in an often intriguingly structured nature. Amenities around the boundary of the space do not attract a proportionate amount of people which prompts the question, are they best served as shops? (Whyte, 1988, pg. 85) makes the point that “blank walls”, or spaces such as entrances, lobbies, and shop windows that don’t offer tangible interactivity to the passer by, will hinder the success of a public space. Within the area of study, a bank, a restaurant, a vacant office block, a back street and several dimly lit or uninteresting shop fronts form the urban elevation at street level. Collectively, these does not translate to enjoyable space. The congestion caused by the volumes of people moving creates bottlenecks which makes it awkward to freely walk about. The extent of movement is typified as single people walking by themselves with only one or two larger groups present, indicates “something is wrong with the space” (Whyte,1988, p.351). The occasional tourist or local will enjoy a few snaps by the ‘Doctor Who’ blue public phone box but the location of this small attraction does little to engage with passers by or to make them want to stay. The provision of seating is not enough to actually attract people to sit down. Although, with the sheer number of others moving around them, this would not make place to relax anyway. The lack of cafes or other food outlets, barring the solitary Starbucks and high end restaurant on South Exchange Place, means at the very least, people are unlikely to want to dwell here and at the very worst may make them feel ‘unwanted’.

The cross of Buchanan St, Gordon St and South Glasgow Exchange forms a major movement centre with high footfall officially recorded

It can be said that as a vessel, the QOUL in this space is not ideal for the slow paced user. The nature of the area though is a ‘pass through’

5.1 A Destination Space George Square reads as a large open space with a web of smaller arteries feeding into the square and out the other side. It can therefore be argued that the square serves as a respite of sorts – a large expanse of open air that allows people to breathe. How does it affect the QOUL of those who spend time there though? A 2012 focus group study led by Ipsis Mori into the suitability of regeneration ideas for the area led to a local opinion, “[...] you can come through all the money making bits [of the city] and then [the Square is] a wee bit of fresh air. [You can] sit here for ten minutes, have lunch and then bump off.” (George Square Redevelopment; Qualitative Research, pg. 4) This captures the ambiance of the space perfectly. The architecture and grandeur of the buildings surrounding the area make it feel special, and by connection when moving through it, you feel special too. The influence of the memorials to so many great minds native to the city creates a sense of personal pride in the space. The amenities around the square and further afield mean the space can’t help become a thoroughfare of movement but even so people willingly stop and pay attention. They take pictures at all times of the day and in all weathers of the statues, the buildings and each other, they gather with friends regularly, using the statues are meeting points. These small uses suggest that the square exerts a positive influence on people and makes them want to come and use the space as a destination point.


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zone – reflected in the architecture celebrated only at junctions into and out of the space. When the movement patterns of users are considered the area handles excessive movement of people particularly efficiently – even at peak times, isolating users to streams of pedestrian traffic around the boundaries of the space, with overflow moving through the otherwise ‘dead zones’ in the middle. This is where the success of the space lies.

5.3 An Accidental Space It has been highlighted (Jacobs, 1961, pg.82) that it is amenities that attract people along a pavement and near to places that lack public attraction, these ‘dead spaces’ then become travelled as routes to somewhere else. The scale and style of the architecture of the concert hall and shopping mall that flank the north and west edges unintentionally creates a celebration of boundary on the entrance into Buchanan Street. As a traversal space, this area connects two major city streets, but its success and inherent QOUL lies in attracting retaining people. The proximity of urban furniture and partial shelter to a thoroughfare of pedestrians subconsciously attracts people prompting spontaneous breaks from the stream to occur regularly. Cafes and shops provide a an excuse for those staying longer, but these miss an opportunity to bridge the divide between being ‘in’ the square and ‘out’ of it by not utilizing outdoor seating. (Whyte, 1988, pg. 87) notes that in public realm design, cafes with “banal” features such as seating and tables are directly proportional to success of a given space. The behavior of use and activity changed proportional to time of day/week. During weekdays, those who pause in the space tend to move on just as quickly, leaving large

parts of the area vacant and empty for long periods. At weekends these vacant areas become secondary movement routes as people actively seek out the space. The extent of occupation around the steps for instance suggests a desire to spend time on this rare piece of urban furniture. Those that remain in the space for longer periods then slowly become aware of other characteristics around them. Architecture, bird life, music, children, other people, the views down Buchanan street are all good reasons for someone to return to this place. The inherent social value of the place is that although it is not a structured open space for events or large gatherings, people just enjoy being here because it offers seating, food, partial shelter and good views. All are aspects people can use in an informal and accidental way. All would also be missed if they were removed. The benefit of this place is that it fills a void of services in Glasgow city center. Equally, to the users of the space, it makes their experience of moving through Glasgow a little nicer, improving their lives small but important ways.


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6.0 Conclusion This dissertation was influenced by issues which, if left unresolved, can pose significant implications for the future of our urban environments. The influx of people to urban centres is growing and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, with the result being more people using urban environment of inner cities. As a society, our disconnection from the physical world and into a pseudo-digital one also dangerously impinges on our ability to take notice of and admire the world around us. The extent of interaction and satisfaction a person can achieve in densely populated areas while wrestling with the demand for attention from our technology is important to ascertain so that the evolution of the space can properly cater to future populations. Literature Following the initial study into (Marans and Rodgers, 1975), (Campbell et al, 1976), (Constanza et al, 1976) and (Marans and Stimson, 2011) collective insights into QOUL, a conclusion was determined that only analysis of strict and refined data could present quantifiable useful results. The indicators suggested by (Constanza et al, 1976) are such that, examined in their entirety would present levels of potential information too great to be conclusively compared. During the course of this analysis, a constant refinement of the area of research was required to create a manageable output of data. Also apparent, was that while both QOL and QOUL share the same founding principles; QOUL is perhaps a more tangible entity incorporating physical features and easier to understand observable information. Research Findings An inherent value from the outset of this study was the concept that Glasgow has a variety of spaces that link together symbiotically to

form a central ‘spine’ of city centre public space. The acceptance that each space serves a different purpose has been important to reflect objectively on the qualities present in each. This also allowed research to be specifically tailored to better analyse the character of the space and the environment it creates for the user. Over the course of the observational studies, it became clear that movement levels through an area suggested a clear definition of what purpose that space serves. Increased rate of movement and nonmovement at certain times of day or week indicated the differences in desire to traverse a space or remain within it. The location and duration of pauses in activity and instances of social interaction created a picture of how happy a person was to remain in a given space. George Square suggested this quality in abundance, indicating a large proportion of people were happy to stop their journey to talk, orientate themselves or take a breather in the space even at peak times. The movement pattern through the centre of the space allows a passer by exposure to greenery, history, other people and a vast expanse of fresh air above – all important aspects in creating a calming or relaxed atmosphere. Buchanan steps, although a primary movement route between busy streets also saw a significant inclination of people to wander into the less crowded air and dwell around the steps or bins. The proximity of space between movement route and steps demonstrated this is the most likely place for spontaneous interaction and enjoyment of space to occur. The area at Gordon St and Buchanan St meanwhile provided very little space for activity to develop but organised pedestrian traffic into the most efficient shape, defining this space as the least enjoyable atmosphere to reside in for any extended period but also the best suited for carrying volumes of people.


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Proposed interventions to enhance ‘Place’ Weather plays a role in use of any space, yet despite a lack of shelter in both George Square and the steps at Buchanan Galleries, each retained a high number of users. People would run for cover initially in these spaces but many found impromptu refuge along the sheer face of surrounding buildings or under trees, suggesting a desire to stay in these spaces despite the uncomfortable conditions. An intervention in each space to provide enclosure from wind, rain and temperature would be popular and welcomed. Incorporating indoor and outdoor space into such a facility would maximise use of the potential use of the space, allowing users to huddle for a hot drink on a cold and rainy day and offer a place to purchase an ice cream on a sunny summers day. Such an amenity would create a dynamic use of street façade along Buchanan street, breaking up retail fronts, while creating a focal point for George Square. Additionally, the poor level of seating throughout Glasgow city centre can be addressed following indications that they would be most successful where users can have their back to a building or other anchor point, facing areas of movement. Furthermore, In future design amendments, a re-orientation of movement routes within the centre to coincide with smaller areas of usable open space would likely create a strongly linked series of successful public spaces in contrast to the 3 fragmented areas of varying success at present. Definition of QOUL in Glasgow (Gehl, 2006, p. ) writes that “when the quality of external space is good, optional activities happen with increasing frequency. As optional activities increase, the number of others engaging in social activity also increases.” Thereby suggesting that any open space available for activities to occur directly relates to the chance of people engaging in them –

which in turn relates to the appeal to others of the place itself. The realisation occurs then, that the level to which a person is willing to linger in a place, and how inclined they are to stay in that space, characterises the essence of what the QOUL is in areas analysed. It refers to interconnecting segments that collectively are described in this study as a ‘spine of movement’ but, when considered individually. But are more suitably posited as a hierarchal succession of incrementally better public spaces that combine movement at their heart with accessible open areas. Ultimately enhancing the quality of life of those that use them in small, positive ways.


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Year 4 Dissertation - Architecture Of Place  
Year 4 Dissertation - Architecture Of Place  

This body of work critically examined the urban spaces in Glasgow's city centre. It analysed a trio of public realm environments for subject...

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