Glasgow is host to a breadth of challenging liminal spaces engendered by extreme physical boundaries across the city. These thresholds divide the urban fabric and have detrimental effects on Glasgow’s metropolitan experience and social cohesion. The challenging conditions which create these threshold spaces, such as city-scale infrastructure or brownfield land, make them considerably less attractive for conventional development.
The imposition of the M8 motorway over Glasgow exemplifies an extreme boundary. Its Kingston to Anderston section places a swathe of monolithic concrete across the river Clyde, forcing a hard border between the city center and West end. Pedestrian thoroughfares are sparse and uninviting, with narrow pavements straddling busy roads offering no sense of place or journey. The majority of lateral movement is restricted by ten lanes of traffic with most opportunities found by navigating an undercroft of gloomy parking bays. Uninhabited, unfrequented and vast, these areas and their spatial conditions place an unsafe fringe on the adjacent neighborhoods. Without a concerted effort to engage with these thresholds, Glasgow will remain divided.