Blowing up the Red Road Flats – a poor image of the city

It has been announced that some of the Red Road Flats will be blown up during the opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Games.

I think it is in pretty poor taste. Notwithstanding the fact that people like to watch the spectacle of tower blocks being brought down there is something about making this the focus of a big entertainment production that makes me feel uneasy.

Maybe I just have a sense of humour deficit today but it seems to me that blowing up people’s former homes is always going to be an act that has somewhat mixed feelings attached to it. As well as that, there is the news that one block will be left standing because it is still used for housing for asylum seekers who will have to evacuate that block on the day. They won’t be invited to Opening Ceremony itself but invited to watch from “safe” locations.

Making asylum seekers shelter leave their homes to shelter from explosions is not an image of Glasgow that I think is particularly entertaining and not one that should be beamed around the world.

I’m a supporter of urban regeneration. I’m also one of those who thinks that that Glasgow has gone from being a city which has a fabulous architectural heritage to one whose current architectural aspirations are dull and commonplace. Many of the high towers in Glasgow failed and should be pulled down. I’m far from sure they should be pulled down as entertainment at the Commonwealth Games and sure that there should be an architectural vision for the city which is just as ambitious as that which saw those towers being raised in the first place.

Blowing up people’s former homes and making asylum seekers shelter from explosions is not entertainment. This proposal is in poor taste.