“There are two ways to shun alien others: flee them or isolate them. Each way can take a built form.” – Richard Sennet
Pollokshields East is located within a complex web of boundaries just South of the River Clyde. These boundaries: M8, M74 and ScotRail, rip up the district fabric. The multitude of edges have contributed to the vast number of vacant spaces in the district. 94% of residents (most are an ethnic minority) live within 500m of them. The ethnic community were ‘alien others’ when they immigrated to fill the labour gaps (post-war) during the 1950s to 1960s. This coincided with the construction of one of the most dominant boundaries of Glasgow: the motorway.
The ‘alien’ boundaries resulted in comprehensive development areas (removal of existing Glaswegian inhabitants to create space for the motorways) affecting livelihoods, the city’s population, disruption to city walkability; forming isolated and derelict patches in the city.
The immigrant ‘alien others’ experienced strife racism, difficulty gaining initial opportunities and white flight. However, they also gained a sense of community, dual identities, and the confidence to express their cultures architecturally.
The existing resources of Pollokshields are its local community, Tramway, Scottish Ballet and the potential to create renewable energy. Tramway was once the centre for Glasgow’s Tram network. Now by generating piezoelectric energy via the abundance of railways, the district will reinvent itself as the centre for green technology. Through an inclusive design, the site will become a physical manifestation of ‘interconnected identity’.
For an ethical city, the way forward is inclusive design combined with green technology.