The Riddle of the Clyde

The Clyde has always had a key role in shaping Glasgow, as the city’s history can be read through the changes of Clyde’s riverbank: after passing from a non‐navigable wetland to the articulated commercial and industrial infrastructure of the Second City of the Empire, the port was progressively abandoned from the 1960s and infilled during the 1980s.

Significant parts of the city got erased in this process, together with the past and memories of the affected population. In an attempt of regeneration, the reclaimed dockyard sites have recently hosted some of the most important urban interventions, which brought Glasgow from a place with identity crisis to its present character as a city of culture.

Nevertheless, the abrupt disconnection form the past and the river is claimed to have led to the intergenerational trauma, one of the significant components contributing to “Glasgow effect”. Glaswegians have a 30% higher risk of dying before the age of 65 than people in comparable de-industrialised cities such as Liverpool and Manchester. They die from the big killers: cancer, heart disease and stroke, as well as the “despair diseases” of drugs, alcohol and suicide. This multifaceted phenomenon can be observed in its most amplified form in Govan.


Key Themes: Clyde Riverfront, particularly; Prince’s and Queen’s Dock