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The City Talks – Debate – Glasgow’s Tenement Tradition: Are we British or European?

February 15, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


73% of Glasgow live in flats, compared with around 24% in most comparable English cities. In Spain and Germany flatted living is much more prevalent, so are we just more European, north of the border?

Or are our traditional tenements actually a quirk of British housing? Our panel of speakers will discuss the character of tenements in Glasgow and beyond and what our housing pattern means for the city.



Panellists will include:

Florian Urban, Glasgow School of Art

A Professor and Head of Architectural History and Urban Studies at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art. 

In 2014-16 he was the Principal Investigator of the research project “The New Tenement,” funded Professor Florian Urbanby the Leverhulme Trust, analysing New Tenements, that is, dense, multi-storey urban residences that have been built in European cities since the 1970s. The project focuses on Berlin, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Rotterdam, and Vienna.


Urban will be bringing his interests in 20th century historical architecture and the relation architecture has with social, cultural, and political forces to the debate.

John Joseph Burns, Architect

John Joseph Burns is currently an architect (UK registered) working for Holmes Miller based in Glasgow, Scotland.

Focusing on urban design Burns has first hand experience with international structures, previously working in the city of Shenzhen, China for a period of two years. John has maintained academic links within China and has presented work at both Guangzhou University in Guangzhou and at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou.

Burns has written about the urban development in Shenzen which could be read here.

Lluis Bosch, Institute of Urban Landscape, Barcelona

Lluis Bosch is the Head of the Routes and Publications department of the Urban Landscape Institute of the Barcelona City Council.

Bosch has a heavy interest in developing European Cities, and their architectural history.  Recently doing a talk at Architectural and Design Scotland about “How Barcelona became a Tourist Destination” presented Bosch’s interest with Art Nouveau architecture.

How Barcelona Became a Tourist Destination – Lluis Bosch from Architecture and Design Scotland on Vimeo.

Graham Bell, North of England Civic Trust

A chartered architect, Graham Bell is a respected adviser on conservation management and economic development of historic areas. As a graduate of Common Purpose, which promotes civil society through understanding and mutual respect, he is an advocate of ‘considerate development’, applying the principles of sustainability and working with communities.

He has represented English Heritage on the board of the Grainger Town Partne

rship in Newcastle upon Tyne, and overseen a six-year £200m regeneration programme that has won national and international best practice awards, including the Europa Nostra Prize for cultural environments.

His interest in European cultural heritage has involved participating in exchange programmes including a British Council delegation to Moscow to coincide with the Queen’s state visit and working with the International National Trusts Organisation. He is a member of Council of Europa Nostra and Europa Nostra UK. A past chairman of the Northumbria Historic Churches Trust and the Council of Newcastle Anglican Cathedral, he was a member of a working group that established Future for Religious Heritage, a European charity that supports historic places of worship of all faiths.

Graham also the UK National Co-ordinator for 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage

Ranald MacInnes, Historic Envrionment Scotland.

Ranald MacInnes is Head of Special projects at Historic Environment Scotland and has various responsibilities which include advising the Scottish Government on planning and historic environment issues. He began his career with English Heritage in the 1980s and has a special interest in 20th-century architecture and planning.

MacInnes is also the Head of Place and Publications at Historic Environment Scotland which is based firmly in research and dissemination with highly-qualified and experienced colleagues who are designers, publishers, archaeologists, historians and conservation experts.

He is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Institute of Art History, University of Glasgow, Visiting Lecturer in Architectural Design for the Conservation of Built Heritage at the University of Strathclyde and has taught conservation at the Mackintosh School of Architecture. 

He has published various books, essays, articles and reviews on architecture and conservation. He has played a leading advisory and regulatory role in many significant conservation and architectural projects with both English Heritage and Historic Scotland.

This is the latest in our series of successful The City Talks events. The City Talks are two-way debates between audience and panel, kick-started by the Chair.

The Chair will introduce the topic, and each panel member will be asked to speak briefly on the topic. The floor will then be open for questions and discussion with the panel.