Glasgow City Council today (22 March) approved a strategy to fully develop the 90 lanes in the city centre and an action plan to deliver the strategy.
The council's City Centre Lane Strategy is part of the wider strategy to redevelop Glasgow City centre. The overall strategy has a number of aims, with two that are particularly relevant for the lanes strategy: developing the city centre as a place to stay and live; and making the centre a place to visit and enjoy.
The City Centre Lane Strategy is expected to help achieve these aims by encouraging owners to make full use of the lanes network, a valuable part of Glasgow's heritage and character, and it will be made more attractive to visitors through improved landscaping and a higher-quality environment.
Many lanes in Glasgow city centre are already successful and attractive destinations featuring shops, restaurants and bars, but a significant number are not, with anti-social behaviour and unauthorised parking a feature of some of those. The City Centre Lane Strategy was developed in recognition of this, and its development was informed by consultation with key city centre stakeholders such as local residents, businesses and other organisations as well as a consideration of other cities who have developed similar strategies, with Montreal, San Francisco and Seattle being some examples.
This consultation had some key findings: 89% felt that arts and culture should form part of the strategy; 88% felt a Lane Activation Fund would be beneficial; 84% felt public health and community safety should be addressed; with 75% raising the issues of waste and recycling; and there was a general sentiment that cleanliness and safety issues should be resolved first.
The action plan to deliver this strategy will be supported by planning policy and will feature strategic and operational interventions, with demonstrator projects largely led by lane owners, businesses and communities. The plan will promote initiatives in seven areas within the city centre, and the council will work with partners in the cultural, creative, advertising and property sectors to achieve this.
Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: "The approval of the City Centre Lane Strategy allow us to begin work with our partners that will make the most of what is an unrealised asset for the city. The regeneration of the area's lanes will bring new life to the city, and deliver cultural, economic and social benefits for Glasgow."