It’s the last thing you’d expect to see just off an unremarkable stretch of the busy Cathcart Road on the South Side of Glasgow. But there they were – a bunch of young folk having a barbecue on a Gorbals gap site, beside the remains of an Alexander “Greek” Thomson church.
What was going on? Who were these people flipping burgers and, by the way, building garden furniture out of wooden pallets and old wooden beer crates? (And would this be of interest to people involved in the Can Do Places Innovation Challenge?)
It turns out, when Can Do Places went to investigate, they’re all architecture students from Strathclyde University, taking part in “Mobileland Glasgow”, a project to turn that bit of waste ground into a temporary outdoor recreation area.
They were given permission to use the site by Glasgow City Council under the “Stalled Spaces” scheme which encourages the short term use of unproductive land for innovative projects that will benefit local communities.
The plan is that, by the end of this summer, the space will have been transformed with the use of garden planters, outdoor furniture and even play equipment – all designed and made on site from recycled materials – which can then be recreated or set up on other stalled spaces in the city.
Speaking to the students on site, one of them points to the redundant viaduct that once carried the now long-disused Barrhead railway line over Cathcart Road right into Central Station.
“We were thinking” he says “maybe a high-rise walkway with a rows of pop-up shops?”
For uptodate information about the project go to their website at: http://mobilelandglasgow.wordpress.com