Scotland’s largest city and the third biggest in the UK, Glasgow has been undergoing considerable change in recent decades. It expanded rapidly in the 19th century thanks to shipbuilding on the River Clyde and manufacturing/heavy engineering. Though both sectors have declined in recent decades, they remain key areas of employment—notably with the naval shipyards of defence contractor BAE Systems. Today, the manufacturing activities span a range of sectors led by chemicals, textiles, brewing and printing.
However, a newer generation of service sector employment in tourism, finance and business services—particularly call centres—has developed over the past twenty years. Higher education, in the form of the city’s four universities, and the creative industries are also making a key contribution to the changing face of the local economy. At the same time, there has been a sustained regeneration of the city itself through a series of capital projects. The latest development has been improved sports facilities that were delivered as part of Glasgow’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2014. The city is also home to a high-technology sector that forms part of Scotland’s so-called ‘Silicon Glen’.
Glasgow has a vibrant nightlife with a wide range of restaurants, pubs, clubs and cafes. There are 13 free museums and galleries and more than 70 parks and gardens spread across the city. Further afield, the spectacular Loch Lomond is less than an hour away. There is good public transport in the city in a network of trains, buses and underground rail. The city’s other favourite leisure activity is football, with Glasgow being home to ‘Old Firm’ rivals Celtic and Rangers.
With a climate change denier in the Whitehouse, how can our cities maintain momentum towards a low carbon future?