Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by Ursula Bach


Glasgow is located on the river Clyde and is Scotland’s largest city (population of 612,000). Glasgow is emerging from a period of post-industrial decline, but is going to great lengths to restore the ecosystems and is using its past “disadvantages” to create opportunities for the future.

Through a Nature Conservation Policy Statement, Glasgow is involved in the protection and the improvement of its natural environment, since 1989.

Eco-innovation and Sustainable employment

Launched in 2010, a “Sustainable Glasgow” initiative pairs the City Council with private and not-for profit partners with a view to reducing carbon emissions by 30 % by 2020 and building a more sustainable future for Glaswegians. Green energy initiatives driven by Sustainable Glasgow should bring £1.5 billion (€1.75 billion) of new investment into the city during this decade.

 Glasgow - sustainably designed Hydro Arena

The new sustainably designed Hydro Arena (centre) © Galsgow

In 2011, Glasgow created a Business Portal in order to ensure that people of Glasgow can be the major beneficiaries of investment. A company can join if 10 % of its employees are from school leavers or the long-term unemployed. This portal has already produced excellent results since it now includes 18,146 companies and by April 2012, 255 long-term unemployed people have been hired.

Nature & biodiversity

Glasgow’s Green Belt is protected by a Strategic Development Plan. 22 % of the city (18,000 ha) is already designed for the protection of nature and biodiversity. And the objective is to promote the quality, quantity and distribution of the city’s open spaces. The integration of green infrastructures in the city helps enhance biodiversity, create opportunities for recreation and tourism, and develop local communities (4,300 new homes by 2025).