Drawing the city

A crucial component of any urban regenerationproject is to first truly analyse and understandthe area. This involves going beyond a designer’s perspective, not just analysing what is immediately apparent but what the area reallymeans to the people who inhabit it. The firststep to achieving this understanding is to model the area’s material information as a basis to analysing the areas more ingrained aspects.

This report presents the work carried out for the analysis brief “Drawing the Existing City”. This includes: a detailed map of the Drumchapel area, identifying the key elements that make up the urban form; sections through key areas; analysis of the urban form including density, typology, building height, land use, block size, pedestrian connectivity, green space and floodrisk; and photos of the site.

History and Stories

The purpose of this report, within the overall analysis phase of Studio 1A is threefold:

• To map the history of Urbanisation of Drumchapel

• To map the social and economic history of the area

• To map the stories of the area, to enable an insight into how the area has performed for its inhabitants

This period of detective work enabled us to form a picture over time of the morphological and developmental structure of the area by using the assembled images, maps, historical texts, interviews, and visits. Once we had marshalled this information and had a basic understanding of the form, changes and stories of the area we began to assemble this report. In compiling all the information, we determined 4 broad chapter headings:

  • Historical narrative
  • Temporal mapping
  • Stories
  • Conclusion – which includes a swot analysis and thoughts for the future

Planning Framework

The broad scope of this Analysis Package is to help you develop a clear, informed, up to date understanding of the study area as it is today in terms of its population, land uses and environmental conditions; at the same time, this analysis aims at understanding what are the ambitions of local and metropolitan stakeholders for its development, i.e. what are the plans currently in place for it at any scale.

The current conditions of an area, how its parts are used, who they are owned by, what kind of environmental work is required to maximise their value, is fundamental because they reveal the strategic potential of the area and suggest directions for development. A good comprehensive overview of all recent actions and projects instigated by the city and other major stakeholders in the area (i.e. housing associations, GHA, City Council, Clyde waterfront regeneration…) will give an indication of the likelihood and type of change that will affect the area.

Experiencing and Comparing Place

As might be understood from the title, the “experiencing and com- paring place” is a two-phased analysis: experiencing the place and comparing this given place with other three examples. The analyses in the experiencing part are composed of the perceptions of interviewed inhabitants, students, and the objective data found regardingthe studied area. These findings are grounded on Kevin Lynch’s book “The Image of the City”, where he introduces the mental maps, five elements forming these maps, and the terms including legibility and imageability of a place. While doing the analyses, following questions are kept in mind in order to be answered throughout the process:

  • What is the composite image of the study area that residents and professionals hold and what are the main differences?
  • What are the main character areas, how accessible are they and how do they link to each other?
  • What is the perception of safety throughout the study area?
  • How legible is the study area as a whole, and what are the features that contribute or undermine its legibility?
  • What is the state of maintenance and repair around the study area and how does it link to urban types?

The second phase of the analysis, that is comparing place, is rather objective. Comparing four areas in terms of their connectivity and accessibility, this part gives an opinion about the selected area and its position compared to the better urban areas.

Network Analysis

This report aims to address the relationship between street and pedestrian path layout and their centrality within Drumchapel and determine its future potential for further prosperity. Thus, the research has been conducted in two stages: analysis of the existing vehicular and pedestrian street network and “modelling” alternative scenarios for the network.

The key objectives of the irst stage of thereport are to assess Drumchapel’s connectivity with wider Glasgow and Clydebank, and on a more local level – to identify which streets are more/ less central and which areas need improvement.

The scenarios forming the last part of the report aim to address Drumchapel’s connectivity issues and also put forward possible routes forfuture improvement by analysing the inluenceof local alterations on the overall street system.