Glasgow set for UN conference on city living

GLASGOW is set to host a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) conference on City Living.

Taking place from September 11-13, the conference is expected to be attended by the likes of planners, architects and urbanists – who will meet visitors from the UN and specialists in the field.

Keynote speakers will include James Stockard from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, who will look at differences in ‘liveability’ between Massachusetts and Scotland.

Glasgow City Council said the UNECE has ‘championed’ affordable and social housing, and  is interested in Glasgow and Scotland’s commitment to community-owned social housing as a model to sit alongside social housing provided by local authorities and the private sector.

The conference, which will take place at New Gorbals Housing Association and Glasgow Caledonian University, will see the launch of the Glasgow Place Commission – led by Professor Brian Evans and supported by a number of independent commissioners.

A draft Glasgow Declaration on City Living will be discussed by delegates, and during the time at New Gorbals Housing Association, delegates will see social housing in the area before going to other parts of the city to see homes built by other housing associations.

Professor Brian Evans said, “As a UN Commission, the UNECE is very interested to see and understand the realities of what happens in the cities of its 56 member states. This conference follows on from a similar event in Vienna last year. It is a means whereby the city can explore the links between United Nations action on the global scale though UK and Scottish levels  and action at the city and city-region level in pursuit of the 17 sustainable development goals.”

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council added, “The UN wants to see a real city going through real changes. They view Glasgow as a beacon for how to provide access to decent, affordable and healthy housing for all. We are the UN’s international example of how to create a housing model which others can follow. So I’m delighted that we will host the UNECE conference, allowing organisations like New Gorbals Housing Association to put the success of community ownership onto a global stage. It is also the ideal launch pad for the Glasgow Place Commission, which will see experts – led by our city urbanist, Professor Brian Evans – explore how place and design can make Glasgow a better city for all of our people to live.”