Glasgow's Urban Problems

Glasgow's Urban Problems

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Glasgow's Urban Problems

There are various geological factors that led to Glasgow’s importance.
One factor was that Glasgow was heavily resourced with iron and coal
and these are the two main ingredients when producing steel. This
steel is then used for many things such as railways (e.g. The Clyde
Tunnel, 1963), bridge building (e.g. Kingston Bridge, 1970) and most
importantly shipbuilding. Another factor that led to the importance of
Glasgow is that it is situated on the River Clyde; a very deep and
wide river. These two combined together, led to a large ship building
industry producing in Glasgow and many businesses starting up in this
kind of work.

However Glasgow soon began to encounter various problems. One problem
in Glasgow at this time was the living conditions. The worst part of
housing in Glasgow was the Gorbals. They were damp, smelly, infested,
and largely overcrowded and these poor conditions led on to various
other problems such as: drugs, alcohol, prostitution, vandalism,
racism, vagrancy, and vandalism. There was also a lot of illness and
disease in these slums during this time, mainly due to the
overcrowding, because things spread so quickly from person to person.
Another type of housing in Glasgow was a tenement; these were the
shady side of Glasgow’s prosperity and were mainly accommodated by
people that moved into town from the country to work in the
shipbuilding industry. These were sometimes in such a poor state they
fall down while people were living inside them resulting in a high
number of tragic deaths. The city was said to be in a state of inner
city decay.

Another problem was that Glasgow relied mainly on World economy for
buying and selling goods, therefore when the great depression happened
in 1929 many businesses were forced out of business and therefore
closed down. This was an especially big problem to Glasgow because
this was the main type of industry, and therefore there were many
people out of jobs. This led to a massive decline in heavy industry,
such as shipbuilding, which located elsewhere where labour was

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cheaper.

There were three main solutions to these problems that the council
carried out: Urban Regeneration, Renovation and Comprehensive
Redevelopment.

The first solution carried out by the councils was comprehensive
redevelopment. This meant knocking down all the tenements and
re-locating them away from the Gorbals. Many people were then out of
homes so the counsel had to very quickly make cheap tower blocks for
these people to live in, however many problems came from these
themselves. They were very badly built as they were very rushed when
being built, this meant poor piping and therefore many flats became
damp, or sodden and poor construction, meaning walls collapsing etc.
Families were also being fragmented as a result of these re-locations,
and the new tower blocks were also very unaesthetic. People often
became housebound in the new tower blocks, as it was very impractical
for a small child to walk down many flights of stairs just to go and
play outside. With the new tower blocks came crime, because it was
very hard to police them. Many even said these tower blocks were no
improvement from the original tenements they lived in.

The next step the counsel tried to do to improve living conditions was
renovation. This meant instead of knocking down the slums they just
refurbished them instead. This led to minimal improvement of
conditions and employment was provided in the form of e.g. plumbing,
lighting etc.

The final attempt at improving the conditions of people in poor areas
of Glasgow was very successful. This was call urban regeneration.
Modern tenements were constructed for people to live in and the
conditions were deemed acceptable. The population in these tenements
had rapidly reduced from 90,000 in 1950’s to 9,000 (a drop of 90%).
This meant overcrowding was not such a problem anymore and therefore
less disease and illness spread. Brownfield sites were used to built
cinemas (The Quay), flats and industry on and this meant there was
more employment and leisure for the residents. Tax incentives were
offered to businesses to attract them to re-locate there. The CBD was
dramatically improved with the St Enoch Mall being built and
restaurants etc. Green belts were made to stop sprawl and this created
small villages around the outskirts of Glasgow (e.g. Partick)

Overall there have been many improvements to the conditions of Glasgow
and the housing conditions are considerably better than they used to
be. There is also much more leisure facilities for the residents of
Glasgow to use and disease and illness have dramatically decreased.
However there is definitely still some improvement to be made.
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