Robbie Miller

The closure of the Ravenscraig steelworks is paradigmatic of the problems facing central belt area. Described as the steel production capital of Scotland, the site used to contain a vast sea of industrial buildings. The jobs and wealth lead to growth in the surrounding towns, amplifying the void left by the steelworks closure and eventual demolition. There is a palpable sense that the central belt is an area that has lost the impetus of its creation. The proposed 'New Ravenscraig Plan' uses the process of montage to suggest new forms of hybrid urbanism derived from the study and synthesis of canonical city plans. The proposal is a polemical investigation of density as an alternative to urban sprawl in answer to the needs of Scotland’s growing population. As a method of situating the 'New Ravenscraig Plan' in a broader theoretical context an in-depth study was made of three pioneering city plans; Georges-Eugène Haussmann's renovation of Paris, Ildefons Cerdà’s extension of Barcelona and Lucio Costa’s plan for Brasilia. The examples were chosen as they each describe a departure from the previous model of living and a reordering of the urban form. The connection between city plan and urban form is examined along with the economic, political and social pressures that exert force, intruding between the proposal and the resolution. The urban block as the unit of the city is used to evaluate the discrepancy between intent and result.




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