HEART CENTRED VISIONING MAKES HARD HEADED SENSE
There is a shared belief that this site, Water Row and the river frontage and the land currently used as a carpark should again have a special place and purpose within Govan, and Scotland, as it has throughout its two past medieval and industrial eras of greatness. In opposing the current plans, we are envisioning a more inspired and sustainable future for the space.
The assets to the Water Row site are vast and unrealised, both in terms of 1) unmet community requirements, infrastructure, public realm and place-making strategies & 2) heritage, tourism, and cultural assets
Surely a community engagement process, to plan and visualise potential uses for the site would be vastly cheaper than creating a car park, leading to a more appropriate/sustainable solution for the area? The car park may indeed create revenue, however in terms of lasting value the detrimental cost of tarmacing without thorough consideration for the community’s requirements and significance of this site, negates cash flow benefits from what is proposed to be ‘temporary’ pay and display.
A careful balancing and intent of purpose needs to be addressed, incorporating elements from history into a well integrated vision for the area, at the same time as offering community facilities that make significant improvements to the areas safety, well being, and social, economic fabric.
Facilitated and meaningful engagement within the community, and with the relevant experts and stake-holders, in the area should be central in establishing potential uses for this site and encouraging a community led visioning exercise.
An opportunity also exists for engagement to be at the heart of a future Community Development trust that would put local people at the centre of place making decisions.
We realise that the current status is critical and that a change of course is urgently required bringing together various parties to initiate ideas of what would be best for this site. The supposed temporary nature of the carpark needs to be questioned… Is it not likely that once implemented this car park will remain for many years?
An engagement and consultation process undertaken by those already working within the community could be complimented with a competition such as the Glasgow Institute of Architects ‘people and places’ competition that an expression of interest was successfully made for last year! Govan has a strong voice and ‘place-changing’ ideas from within the community are springing into action. This site symbolises the potential for a lasting positive impact at the heart of this neighbourhood, and deserves better than being merely a facilitator to the dominance of polluting motor cars!