My Town, The New Town

The RTPI West of Scotland have announced their upcoming talk – My Town, The New Town – looking at the history of architecture and placemaking in Cumbernauld.

In its seventy year history Cumbernauld has been celebrated, neglected, and reviled – in that order. Despite being an ambitious multi-award winning 1960s set piece of post-war architecture and planning, by the early 1990s Cumbernauld had acquired a notorious reputation as one of Scotland’s most reviled products of that era.

The real story of Cumbernauld is much more complex than the ‘failed Utopia’ narrative pedalled by much of the media and ‘experts’. Many who grew in Cumbernauld (and other new towns) have gone on to become professionals working in the built environment; many have become planners and architects.

Diane Watters grew up in Cumbernauld and has researched the history of the town. She is an architectural historian and lecturer at Edinburgh University and does not recognise these so-called ‘popular’ condemnations.

Michael Kordas, the current RTPI West of Scotland’s Vice Convenor also grew up in Cumbernauld and has undertaken his own research on the town. He will introduce the evening and outline Cumbernaulod’s first 10 years up to 1967 with particular interest in the ways in which the original planning strategy was different in the ‘Mark 2’ new town than might be expected.

Come along to this event on Wednesday 6th September from 6pm, at The Corinthian Club, 191 Ingram Street, Merchant City, Glasgow City Centre, G1 1DA

Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite

Diane M Watters is an architectural historian. A specialist in nineteenth and twentieth century architecture and conservation in Scotland, she has recently authored St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross: Birth Death and Renewal (HES, 2016), and co-authored a guide to Cumbernauld (with Miles Glendinning) as part of Buildings of Scotland architectural guidebook series to Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire (Yale University Press, 2016). She teaches at the University of Edinburgh.

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