Places of meditation, fun, learning and peace from the chaos
Glasgow Green first survey
As most of the content on this website is at the development stage there are no hard guidelines about the tools or techniques we use to explore. And that's what makes it exciting. We know what we wish to achieve in getting out of the neoliberal turmoil. But the tools ways and avenues of exploration are boundless. But we need some kind of structure, and an idea to pin activities to, so we know when we are succeeding. But apart from that we do not have all of the answers, thats where you come in.
We will start our survey for the comparative study of our city, at our cultural epicentre, Glasgow Green.
Parks are not just about open space but about open-minded-space.
Part of the gifting of parks by Victorian capitalists, was to quell the natives from revolution. But since Victorian times, parks have been outlets for public discontent and protest. Battle for the Glasgow Green for free speech, Pollok park motorway protest, and many more. Now in the austerity, surveillance state, passive entertainment and spectacle is being applied, to attempt to anaesthetise the public, while taking back parkland and commons through the commercialisation of public space.
Each summer the volume of paid events occupying our parks is expanding. The disruption to ordinary park users who see the park as an escape from the chaos and consumerism of daily life. These park users see these disruptions to their enjoyment of the park as disturbing
Our parks work, and have done for the last hundred or so years. About the only thing left in the public realm that, does work. But it is not just about complaining, but also about building, through public engagement, a vision for our parks that will sustain them for the next hundred years and more and by protect them from on-going administrations that may see the parks value only in monetary terms.
Our Survey will include:
How to find out things about parks, greens pace, commons and how to use the “Community Empowerment Act”. The general public need to be heard in this conversation in protecting community assets. We will be looking at the various, forums, assemblies and mechanisms, that could help to enable groups as well as individuals to take part in this important dialogue.
For instance: Regarding the Peoples Palace winter garden. We can either develop a compelling story for the closed winter gardens to re establish it as part of our commons, or we can wait for the council to find a funding stream opportunity to turn it into a blue chip tourist attraction. If they haven't already found one.
Building models for examining, identifying, restoring and documenting parks and other common good assets
A critical assessment of the assets and their maintenance within parks.
Building models for examining, identifying, restoring and documenting parks and other common good assets.By a critical assessment of the assets and their maintenance within parks.
Parks and green space are ever increasingly under threat of change of use by the encroachment of the state and commerce on our parks. One to pay off debt, the other through profiteering. Building in parks, housing, schools, cafes and expensive events are allowed to go ahead because there is no form of analysis of the cities stewardship of our community infrastructure.
Parks are an integral part of community infrastructure, which often define the community itself. Their iconic nature relates to the communities cultural integration and as an open air class room and place of enjoyment for the communities they serve and are not there to be exploited for the financial benefit of business interests.
We are told by the council and developers alike that our parks need to pay for themselves. Usually by extracting money from park users, and the destruction of our natural resources by events managers.
The point is our parks pay for themselves 10 times over through the extraction and neutralisation of organic toxins from our atmosphere. They have a positive effect on health of anyone who uses them. For example the improvement in mental health through integration and nature in a calm and traffic free environment. A space for exercise that has a positive effect on physical health whether that be walking, cycling, running, boating, gardening or just convening with nature.
Parks offer education in the anthropology of place based learning, sociology horticulture, energy harvesting, sciences, physics, ecology of the flora and fauna and the archaeology and history of the space - Just for starters.
If we fail to recognise these things as value they will be left to the events managers. And once the these people are let loose in our parks we will have great difficulty in getting them back out again. There needs to be better structures for the benefit of the parks and users through management and stewardship. And in connecting our parks to the 500 year old common good act. (1491) as a way of preserving them from commercial exploitation and shifting political ideologies of short term four year adversarial self interest power struggles of the cities changing administrations.
In the survey of the "Green" we could look at: Exploring a compelling story for the Winter Gardens. In looking at how our buildings should perform and run efficiently, like a glass house as a natural energy drawer, an educational space in the sciences, horticulture, food sovereignty, as well as a space just to relax and enjoy. What do these monuments in the green represent and what relationship do they have to the peoples palace and to ordinary park users. The West Boat House is to be rejuvenated with aims to open up the River Clyde to all by removing barriers in order to enjoy and share the social, physical and psychological benefits of being part of a diverse river community. The history of Glasgow Humane Society goes back to the Enlightenment. Which "is notable for many features but for the Glasgow Humane Society’s purpose it can be seen as a time when the influence of scholars and philosophers such as Descartes, Newton, Kant, Goethe, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Adam Smith–to name but a few–created in Europe a temperament in man for reason and self-improvement".
There was many a battle in the green against the authorities over free speech and the right to congregate freely. This is important history and we protect it best by the continuing the activities it fought so hard to achieve. May Day is part of that history and should be placed back in the green where it belongs. So lets get started. What do you know?