What ambitions are there for the future of George Square?
There were three different ways people were able to share their ambition for the future of George Square—and collectively, across all methods, 793 individual submissions were made.
Online at www.george-square.com, people were encouraged to either contribute to a public database of ambitions for the future use of George Square, or cast an ‘up’ or ‘down’ vote on existing submissions. To keep submissions concise, and aid comprehension a character limit was used.
Alongside paper surveys, people were invited to contribute their point of view on what George Square should be used for. This also contained a number of example answers (largely based on how it is used today):
- ‘a place to meet and gather’
- ‘a place for civic celebration’
- ‘a place for the city’s heritage’
- ‘a place to move through’
- ‘or something completely different’ (with space provided for participants to use their own words)
The third way was through online, social media and article comments, alongside other submissions (e.g. email or postal). For evaluation purposes, all ideas have been pulled together.
Generally, submissions contained two types of information. Ambitions as to how the public space of George Square is used, and more specific suggestion for features that could be included in a design.
Ambitions on how George Square is used
A number of people referenced, gave support to, or simply circled/ticked the prompts that framed the online and paper submission formats. They were mentioned the following number of times:
- ‘a place to meet and gather’ (71)
- ‘a place for civic celebration’ (44)
- ‘a place for the city’s heritage’ (37)
- ‘a place to move through’ (22)
However, the majority of submissions either added additional text or completely used their own wording for their contribution. Using the same process that was applied to find a common set of purposes on how George Square is used today, the chart below shows how often the same uses were mentioned—as there is no comparative figure for ‘no reason to go there’, this has been replaced with variants on ‘leave it as it is’.
Suggestion of features
As noted before, in addition to specific types of uses several suggestions have been made to the type of features that could be introduced or enhanced within any future design.
- 301 have mentioned a more sustainable or green George Square with more grass, trees and flowers.
- 219 would like a reduction in traffic levels, or an element of pedestrianisation.
- 125 specifically noted that George Square should be a place to sit, relax, reflect or contemplate. Terms like ‘oasis that gives you a break from the rest of the city centre’, are frequently used.
- There are mixed outlooks on statues and monuments, with 89 mentions. These include whether they should be retained, altered in layout, or removed from the square; introducing new statues or monuments; and undertaking cleaning and conservation work.
- 59 indicated a preference of leaving the square alone, that it is fine in its current condition or that there are greater priorities for spending and investment.
- 48 included a suggestion of a water feature, fountain or pond.
- 32 have mentioned improvements to paving.
- 18 noted that George Square should retain an element of flexibility and multi-purpose usage.
- 17 would like to see the inclusion of play facilities that encourages children, young people and families to use George Square more.
- 7 mentioned giving Gaelic some prominent presence in George Square.