Sighthill, Glasgow - GreenBlue Urban

Sighthill, Glasgow


The new town, NorthBridge, (formerly known as Sighthill in Glasgow, Scotland,) the UK's biggest transformative regeneration scheme outside of London, has recently been completed.

This £250m project covers over 50 hectares of previously brownfield land, providing over 800 homes within the residential areas complete with new shops, access roads and paths and public realm parklands. The development has allowed new connectivity between communities with a central boulevard leading down to a village square.

Sighthill was delivered by a partnership named: Transforming Communities Glasgow; a collaboration between Glasgow Housing Association, The Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, and Keepmoat Homes was chosen to build out the scheme and manage the affordable housing element through their sister company Lowther Homes.

LDA Design designed a neighbourhood just 15 minutes walk away from the City Centre -via a new “garden bridge” over the M8 motorway. This has ultimately been a selling point for families and professionals keen to live in a safe green environment, able to adopt a peaceful, healthier way of life with all city-centre amenities on their doorstep.

Rasing the entire site down to the ground was essential thanks to the legacy of heavily contaminated land. 140 new homes were built in the first phase prior to demolition to house those who lived in the old tower blocks on Sighthill. Site challenges such as ‘Stinky Ocean’, a well-known pond contaminated with hydrogen sulphide gas have been dealt with – in this case by, encapsulating the contaminant and remediating the soils close to the surface.

The younger generation has also greatly benefited from the infrastructure through an innovative Community Campus housing the three local schools that now glean their education at one facility.

The hard paved parkland avenues, with continuously connected tree pits below ground, wetlands and permeable play areas will provide flood protection and increase local biodiversity, creating a local sustainable urban drainage system. GreenBlue worked closely with Ashlea Landscapes – who have long been advocates of ‘best practice urban tree planting’ - finally opting for a mixture of both Rootspace 600 and 400 soil cell systems that can be secured together complete with unique "Air Decks” (lids) as the trees planting product of choice.

The full Arborsystem was installed using the ArborGuy underground guying system, Root Directors to manage the rooting of the trees into favourable rooting zones, the RootRain ArborVent, HydroGrille and Urban irrigation/aeration inlets to allow gaseous exchange and direct effective watering for the first couple of years. These tree pits will allow the trees in the hard landscape to attain species potential longevity without any pavement heave with the trees bringing the positive benefits that only mature trees can bring. Over the next years, North Bridge will be enjoying mature canopy cover and showing how a masterpiece of landscape design can become what it was intended to be from the original brief when green infrastructure provision is made correctly early on, and good installation and implementation always enhances a great design.