Crown Street Regeneration Masterplan

Location Glasgow
Client Glasgow City Council | Scottish Development Agency
Content 20ha Residential and Community Use
Status Planning Granted

We know that living in safer, cleaner and more attractive places is likely to enable individuals to become more economically active and live more fulfilling lives, and this study provides some strong evidence.

Janet Askew, RTPI President

Crown Street was the principal street of a 6ha sector of the Gorbals in Glasgow once occupied by traditional tenement but rebuilt on isolated blocks when these proved disastrous in the 60s. CZWG won a competition for re-planning the area (for the second time since the Second World War), employing a strategy that reversed the conventional hierarchy of ground and narrower streets and introduced oases of private communal gardens into the centre of urban blocks. Some 1,200 new residential units were proposed in addition to commercial development. Maida Vale, in London, was the inspiration for the concept, and the scale of the communal gardens were large relative to the scale of the buildings. For implementation an outline planning permission was gained for the streets, blocks and infrastructure with a single side of a garden being the smallest development tranche for a sole developer, the communal gardens were unusually initially sponsored by the Development Agency to achieve early maturity.

A design guide was drawn up to provide a detailed planning permission framework for different architects to contribute to a relatively consistent whole. This scheme has proved so successful that it is cited as an exemplar for others of its kind and has been extended across Laurieston to east and west. In addition to the much enjoyed communal gardens is a small central park space affording a delightful setting for the Alexander “Greek” Thomson’s Church.

Key findings of a RTPI 2015 study show how the Gorbals area has seen rapid declines in unemployment and income deprivation among the local population below the Glasgow city average.

The Gorbals’ cyclical reinvention – from terraced homes to ‘streets in the sky’ and back again – echoes the reshaping of Britain’s inner cities in the post-war era, writes Rory Olcayto, in a Case Study of CZWG's 700-home Crown Street Masterplan in the 2022 estate regeneration report ‘Altered Estates 2: How to address changing priorities in estate regeneration’.