In the news, w/e October 27

GLASGOW’S city council is celebrating a cycle-friendly piece of technology securing a prize at a transport awards ceremony.

The kit allows the lead cyclist in a group of primary school-aged cyclists to control upcoming traffic lights.

And it sufficiently convinced judges at the National Transport Awards that it was named a winner in the ‘Exemplary approach to active travel and public space’ category.

The kit is used in the Glasgow district of Shawlands, and involves a ‘bike bus’ of school children heading for Shawlands Primary School on Pollokshaws Road.

Reporting the win, the city council – at the beginning of this week – said, here: “A remote control mounted on the lead rider’s bike allows a green light to be requested from up to 100 metres away and then holds the signal at green for 45 seconds, which gives enough time for the ‘bike bus’ to cycle safely through the tricky junction [at Shawlands Cross]. The remote control only works at set times and military-grade encryption prevents unauthorised changes to the traffic light sequences.”

‘Best buildings’ awards

SCOTLAND’S architects are being invited to enter awards celebrating Scotland’s ‘best buildings’.

The 2024 RIAS Awards (here) – being run by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland – has a deadline of January 12 next year, with a deadline of the 24th of next month to be eligible for an entry fee discount.

Town awards

INSPIRED by the theme, ‘Scotland loves local’, the Scotland’s towns organisation, Scotland’s Towns Partnership, has announced the shortlist in its annual awards competition.

The winners will be announced on the 28th of next month, and in the running for prizes (here) are:

Climate and net zero

  • Gauchalland East Community Gardens, Galston 
  • Dalrymple, Skeldon and Hollybush Project 
  • Ibrox Commons, Glasgow

Creative community

  • Art Night, Dundee
  • Energise Galashiels Trust
  • Scene Stirling

Digital community

  • ‘Like a Local’ campaign, Forth Valley Food and Drink
  •, Inverurie
  • Moray Media CIC, Forres

Enterprising communities

  • Include Me 2 Club, Barrhead
  • GALE Centre, Gairloch 
  • The Furniture Project, Stranraer 

Place leader

  • Diane Brown, Alloa First
  • Ross Grant, Aberdeen Inspired
  • Dr Michael Gray, Energise Galashiels

Streets and spaces

  • Craigie Street Pocket Park, Dundee 
  • Gateway to Strathclyde Country Park, Bellshill 
  • Inchyra Park, Grangemouth 

Town centre living

  • Almondvale Court, Livingston (West Lothian Council / Cruden Homes)
  • Merchant House, Inverness (Highland Housing Association)
  • Simon Square, Edinburgh (Fraser / Livingstone Architects)

Glasgow’s George Square

A PLANNING application is expected to be submitted some time next week, for Glasgow’s main public square, George Square.

The proposed revamp – by John McAslan + Partners and soon to be inviting responses from the general pubic, via the city council’s planning applications portal (here) – has been supported by the Glasgow City Region Deal, which is funded by the UK and Scottish governments.

There have been several design iterations – that have gone out for consultation – up to this point.

It is understood the plans will include a sensory garden for children, a water feature, raised lawns, bespoke, sheltered seating and feature lighting.

Leaky windows

DESCRIBED as “the most extensive report in the glazing industry to date”, it is estimated that 80 million windows in the UK need to be replaced, to meet government ‘net-zero (carbon emissions)’ targets.

Say (here) the authors of the report – trade bodies, the Glass and Glazing Federation and British Glass: “Double glazing installed pre-2002 is in approximately 23 per cent of the UK’s current housing stock and is 50 per cent less energy-efficient than new windows to current standards.”

They add: “Homes fitted with new windows to current standards could see a saving of up to £395 per year.”

COUNCILLORS in Edinburgh have approved a housing development – comprising 220 private and ‘affordable’ homes – in the east of the city, subject to the satisfactory completion of conditions.

The homes – earmarked for the Newcraighall area of the city – are being developed by house builders, Cullross Ltd.

Says a media release on behalf of Cullross, here: “Flats, colony flats, and townhouses are included in the ambitious plans, with 163 (74 per cent) of the units being for affordable housing which will be delivered by Cullross on behalf of Hillcrest Homes. The remainder being for private housing.

“A substantial open park space, with quality landscaping, will be provided for the local community and the layout integrates with the existing residential development.”

The conditions – outlined in pp 21-31 of the city council’s response, here – include ground condition and any coal mining surveys.

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Glasgow George Square picture credit: Glasgow City Council, Main picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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