Skip Navigation / Jump to Content



Modern Times: 1950s to The Present Day

Buildings and Cityscape

Council Housing

By Ranald MacInnes

Exeter Drive, Partick In the aftermath of the Second World War, earlier attempts to deal with the slums now seemed piecemeal. Slums had been demolished, but many slum-dwellers had been forced into equally bad accommodation in other locations. It was not until the postwar period that slum clearance began to be matched, person for person, by the re-housing of those displaced. In 1944-5, the Corporation produced a scheme for an almost completely re-built "healthy and beautiful city" in a plan prepared by the City Engineer, Robert Bruce. The bold idea was to sweep away the slums and to replace them with relatively low-density, up-market flats of a type pioneered at Moss Heights (1950-4), the sister prototype of Crathie Court, an eight-storey block of "bedsit" or dwellings for unmarried women in Partick. New garden suburbs would be built on the city's edge. A daringly modern inner ring road was also to be built.

Easterhouse Housing A threat to Glasgow's programme came from the state. The Scottish Office dismissed the Bruce plan as a "fantasy". The government's solution was to de-populate the "congested" city of Glasgow. The Clyde Valley Regional Plan would have re-housed a quarter of a million Glasgwegians in New Towns whilst preventing the further growth of the city by means of an encircling "green belt". The city took this as a challenge to its power. Loss of population meant loss of political prestige. Eventually, a compromise was agreed whereby swathes of green belt were conceded to Glasgow in exchange for moving 100,000 of its residents out.

Red Road Flats The garden suburbs planned for the periphery were dropped in favour of higher density tenemental development at Drumchapel, Easterhouse and Castlemilk. Now displaced Glasgwegians were denied their "cottages". Later, as the "numbers game" hotted up, and Glasgow ran out of building land within its boundaries, the City decided that the only way was up. Seduced by the Modernist glamour of prestige tower blocks and pressed into urgent action by the continuing housing crisis, Glasgow built more high rise flats than any other city in Europe, including the communist bloc.

Quick Search

Photo Album

You have 0 images in your photo album.

View Photo Album

Log-In (Optional)

Not a user? Register now for FREE!

Other Options