Streets for all – Glasgow's new avenues

More space for cyclists and a greener center in the Scottish capital

Avenue of Glasgow | Photo: Municipality of Glasgow

The pandemic has fundamentally changed all our daily lives. Instead of meeting indoors, we meet outside and instead of taking the bus or train, we use the bicycle or sometimes the car. Cities need to respond to this change in population behavior. Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, whose central streets have long been reserved for car traffic, has met this challenge by taking extensive measures to create more space for cyclists and pedestrians and new central green spaces.

During the pandemic, space for cyclists and pedestrians in Glasgow was provisionally separated from the streets with plastic elements, giving them more space. By doing so, the city successfully responded to the new needs of its residents.

But in the long term the streetscapes suffer from the unsightly plastic elements. However, for the quality of life in a city and the well-being of its residents not only the functionality but also the beauty of the city is important. That's why the long-term avenue strategy in Glasgow's city center calls for the creation of 21 streets with continuous bicycle and pedestrian paths in combination with extensive greening by 2027. The new avenues will link central locations and better connect adjacent neighborhoods. The greening will beautify the streets, which were often completely concreted before, and more space for pedestrians and cyclists will significantly reduce motorized traffic.

Thus, not only does the functionality of the street adapt to the new needs of the population, but the new avenues are also visually much more attractive. This increases the attractiveness of the location for retailers and the quality of stay in the public space. Combined with new technologies, such as individually controllable LED lighting, the center of Glasgow is thus made fit for the future.

More Information

Glasgows Avenue Strategy & the Role of Beauty in Public Spaces (PDF)

Event Recording (Presentation on Glasgow starts min. 78): COVID-19 – A chance for urban green recovery? (Only for those registered on the Connective Cities Platform)


Jamie Shields, Development and Regeneration Services, Glasgow City Council, UK  jamie.shields(at)

Paola Pasino, Development and Regeneration Services, Glasgow City Council, UK paola.pasino(at)

Connective Cities

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