“Waterworks,” designed by Scottish artist Gabriella Marcella in partnership with the Glasgow City Council and Civic Engineers, reimagines the forgotten space just outside of downtown at the entrance to Anderston Station, a major commuter hub and the nexus of major bike and pedestrian routes underneath the imposing M8 highway bridge above. Timed with the city’s hosting of the Conference of the Parties (COP), the UN’s annual global gathering of climate change representatives from around the world, Waterworks uses Gabriella’s colorful, eye-catching artwork, benches and other placemaking elements to enliven the area and improve navigation through the once-forgotten public space and encourage more people to walk, bike and take transit.
“For a reasonably small amount of money, you can actually make a space much more pedestrian and cyclist friendly. And hopefully that will attract people out of cars, which is what needs to happen in order to tackle climate change.”
Isla Jackson, Director, Civic Engineers Glasgow
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Best Practice Highlight – Aligning with City Priorities: Sustainability
In addition to traditional public space elements, Waterworks includes an innovative rain garden feature designed to funnel rainfall from the highway above into a planted area in order to support native species and reduce flooding and harmful stormwater run-off. By incorporating efforts to reduce some of the most harmful impacts of climate change into an Asphalt Art Initiative project, Glasgow hopes to establish a new model for public space interventions elsewhere in the city and around the world.