Glasgow gains first-ever City Urbanist

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Professor Evans of the Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh School of Architecture has been appointed as Glasgow’s first-ever city urbanist

This new role will see Professor Evans – a professor in Urbanism and Landscape at GSA’s Mackintosh School of Architecture, and one of the UK’s leading urbanists – work with councillors, officers, the design community, and city partners and stakeholders to enhance Glasgow’s approach to placemaking and connectivity.

He will work with politicians and senior officers to develop and embed an approach to ‘place quality’ in all of the plans and strategies that are implemented by the council family that affect how we live including housing, business, environment, transport and place connectivity.

The City Urbanist will connect activity across the council family and the design community, in all functions that affect ‘liveability’ in Glasgow, to provide an over-arching narrative and get the best out of the key place-making policy in the City Development Plan.

Applications for the role of Glasgow’s City Urbanist were invited from independent, strategic, thinkers with a proven track record in influencing the delivery of ambitious place-making policies on the ground, operating in the fields of urban design, architecture, urbanism, landscape architecture, or planning with multi-disciplinary, partnership working at city scale. The part-time role will also see Professor Evans act as a bridge between the council, communities and developers.

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “I am very pleased that Professor Brian Evans has agreed to take on the challenge of the new role of City Urbanist. He will make a great addition to the team as we take forward the next stage in the history of this great city.

“Brian brings into the council a great understanding of our city formed over years in the private sector and a distinguished career in the academic sector and in promoting best practice in urban development and placemaking for the Scottish and UK Governments and internationally.

“There are great designers and planners working in Glasgow across the public and private sectors. The City Government is committed to working with them to make Glasgow the best place it can be. We see this being delivered through a consistent and long-term commitment to place-making and best use of the city’s assets. Brian’s appointment is an important step in delivering that.”

Professor Evans added: “It is characteristic of Glasgow to look forward and think creatively about the ways the city works for people. We should think about the design of Glasgow as an international city, a metropolitan city and, most importantly, as the everyday city of residents, businesses and visitors and I’m honoured to be asked to play a role and to take a strategic view on place, design and the city.

“I’ll be working alongside the City Council and its partners to complement existing capacity, stretch thinking on design and help identify gaps in knowledge and understanding.”

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