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Showing posts from December, 2018

A Tale of Two Future Glasgows

Despite its undoubted cultural vitality, Glasgow has often had a grim reputation, especially south of the English border. Yet the very bleakness, exacerbated by epic mismanagement, aggressive deindustrialization and sectarianism has also made it a site of constant and sometimes tragically over-ambitious attempts at utopian regeneration. This can be seen in the now highly poignant film Glasgow 1980, which was already being quietly forgotten and surpassed by harsh reality even before the city had reached the year the film is supposed to depict. It poignantly promised a gleaming, post-industrial future in which "muscle gives way to automation."


Yet in between the completion of the film and 1980, the oil shock and economic slowdown shattered the dreams of its makers and backers. Relatively little of the utopian plans (which to some already seemed dystopian) was ever built and many of the hopes of the "white heat of technology" era came to nothing. Other buildings that …