Urban wasteland being revamped with greenery

GALLANT - Glasgow as a Living Lab Accelerating Novel Transformation

Delivering a Climate Resilient City through City-University Partnership

Glasgow's City Portrait Project: A Thriving Cities Portrait for Glasgow 2022

Glasgow City Council Leader, Cllr Susan Aitkin, launched Glasgow's participation in C40’s Thriving Cities Initiative in November 2021 during COP26.

This signifies the city’s ambition to move towards a green wellbeing economy in order to meet its ambitious social and environmental targets. An important step in the process of becoming a thriving city is the creation of a City Portrait, a tool for thinking about Glasgow in a holistic and innovative way.

The Glasgow's City Portrait Project aims to answer the question:

How can Glasgow be a home to thriving people, in a thriving place, while respecting the wellbeing of all people and the health of the whole planet?

The City Council is being supported by the University of Glasgow to create its Portrait, which will help the City think about the current situation, and define its ambitions and aspirations. The insights from the Portrait process will then be used to support Glasgow’s participation in the C40’s Thriving Cities Initiative and the new “town and gown” GALLANT Programme.

Basic summary of doughnut economics principles: Sustainable lifestyles are situated between an upper limit of permissible use (“Environmental ceiling”) and a lower limit of necessary use of environmental resources (“Social foundation”).What is a City Portrait?

City Portraits (as trialled in other pilot Thriving Cities such as Amsterdam, Portland and Philadelphia) are tools that downscale the concepts of Doughnut Economics to the city, and consider the city of Glasgow through four interconnected lenses: local, global, social and ecological.

As ‘Our Dear Green Place’, Glasgow depends on a healthy natural environment for its citizens to thrive, but as the largest city in Scotland, Glasgow also influences a multitude of social and ecological outcomes that reverberate across our increasingly connected world.

Who will create the Portrait?

All of us! The Glasgow's City Portrait Project team are organising a series of workshop meetings during 2022 to explore these big ideas at a Glasgow level. As the project evolves, we will be inviting participants from more diverse sectors, including the community.

By creating a portrait of Glasgow collaboratively, we will bring multiple perspectives on the city to life. It will allow us to identify the policy and operational levers that could trigger transformative progress and have the biggest impact on all four lenses. We will develop a shared vision of what ‘Thriving’ would mean for Glasgow, and discuss how we can define or track our progress towards more meaningful measures of societal and planetary wellbeing.

The Portrait will adapt and change as time goes on. By continually refining it, we can use it to inform the City’s policy development and also as input to an ambitious new research endeavour that the University is undertaking with the City, the £10.2 million, five-year research programme GALLANT. Parallel parts of the Thriving Cities Initiative (with our C40 Cities’ partners ZOE Institute for Future-Fit Economies and Beacon for Sustainable Living) will also be working collaboratively with the Portrait process and supporting our mutual goals.

Glasgow's City Portrait Project Team

Led by Prof Petra Meier, who is also a Co-PI on the GALLANT programme and co-leads GALLANT's Work Stream 1: Systems Thinking, which will be incorporating the Glasgow's City Portrait work and threading it through all of GALLANT's research.

Project Research Associate is Annika Hjelmskog.

Project Manager is Petra Baiba Olehno - contact her with queries.