The Commonwealth Games is now well underway in Glasgow with 4,500 athletes taking part and many thousands of anticipated visitors and spectators. In the build-up to the Games, the significant investment, redevelopment and regeneration of the city has been particularly interesting to monitor.
The impressive Athletes Village has been built over 35 hectares, which is alongside the Emirates Stadium – a state of the art facility that opened in 2012, with a seating capacity of over 5,000 spectators. The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome has also been developed alongside the stadium, while the SECC Precinct, which is just short of 2 miles from Glasgow’s centre, forms the largest single venue of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Having run some analysis through our Promap and Envirocheck systems, it has provided us with some great insight into the history of Glasgow and, in particular, the areas that have been subject to recent redevelopment in readiness for the Games.
When looking at all of Glasgow’s venues, the first thing that we quickly identified is that there are over 4,800 instances of historic land use within the immediate vicinities.
The SECC Precinct has 36 instances of potentially contaminative historic land use within a mile of the site just from the earliest map alone, all of which are of a diverse nature: from transport manufacturing & repair, saw-milling, metal casting, through to cargo handling, railways and even the site of a former cemetery.
Historic maps also show that the SECC Precinct has been built on the site of the old Queen’s Dock. With the decline in shipping traffic, the dock became redundant and was filled in with rubble from the demolition of St Enoch station in the late 1970’s.
The redevelopment of the various sites in and around Glasgow really goes to show that past land use shouldn't limit or restrict future use or development. By accessing the right data, it provides a detailed picture into the past use of the land, meaning the correct remediation can take place to enable future progress.
With a current emphasis on building more residential properties across the UK – including re-purposing and utilising unused brownfield land or sites – it just goes to show that understanding the past use of the land can help transform an area for today and also for future generations to come.