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18TH AUGUST 2021


With Glasgow’s COP26 on the horizon, and the IPCC report sounding the alarm about an imminent climate emergency, there’s no time like the present to talk about how we can adapt our cities to be more sustainable. 

The theme for this year’s Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival is Sustainable Communities, so we’ll be spending our week talking about Glasgow’s green heritage and the hunt for more climate friendly ways of living. 

Our city already has a long-held connection with nature. The word Glasgow literally translates to “dear green place” or “place of the green hollow” in Cumbric, an ancient brythonic language spoken by Celts before the Roman invasion. 

That green theme has continued to shine through the city’s history, from Glasgwegians’ pride in our public parks to being crowned the vegan capital of the UK.

We’ll pay tribute to that legacy at the festival, while also thinking about how we can push our community to become even more eco-friendly in the coming years.

Expect in-depth explorations of our city’s parks, radical new plans for low carbon buildings, and ideas for how we can live together better in urban spaces.

Bookings open on Wednesday 1st September.


The benefit of public green spaces to our health and happiness is a well established fact. From lower risks of cardiovascular disease to improved mental wellbeing, a simple walk in the park can do wonders for those of us who live in the city. 

At Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival, we invite you to join us outdoors at one of the many parks and gardens taking part in the festival. 

Learn about why our Victorian ancestors opened Victoria Park on the Victoria Park Heritage Trail, take an up close look at the 330 million year old trees in the Fossil Grove, or find out how the Hidden Gardens are creating a new inner city hub for community gardening. 

Lost Glasgow celebrates our long love affair with Glasgow’s parks in an in-depth webinar, complete with vintage photographs of Glasgow Green, Victorian pleasure parks, and urban play areas. Or you can listen to the Dear Green Bothy, a project from the University of Glasgow, explore how Glasgow’s green spaces were tied to the demolition of Glasgow’s slums in pursuit of better public health.

And we all have a hand to play in ensuring that our green heritage stays that way. Why not help restore Springburn Park to its former glory by taking part in the first ever clean-up of the Victorian Rockery?

Springburn Rockery


In our quest to invent more innovative and hi-tech fixes for climate change, it’s easy to forget that some of the best solutions are already under our noses. What better buildings to see us into a new low waste era than the ones that have already stood for over 100 years?

That’s the thinking behind Civic House, an old print works that published posters for unions and political movements from the 1920s. Take a tour of the building and hear about its ongoing retrofit – an ambitious project that will turn it into Scotland’s first low carbon “Passivwarehaus” while retaining its original features inside.

Or embark an in-person trail through Glasgow’s Art Deco Quarter just south of the Clyde. Starting from Bridge Station, you’ll explore the design trends left over from the 20s and 30s – some still open and repurposed, some abandoned and unoccupied – and hear about their unsung potential in the midst of the climate emergency. 

Tenements are already a good model for sustainable living. By building vertically they can pack lots of homes into a small space only a walking distance from vital amenities. But there is always more that can be done to reduce their environmental impact. Under One Roof shows us how in their webinar, which encourages flat owners to club together in tenement communities.

Govan Thriving Place Zero Waste Market


How can we change up our lifestyles to minimise our environmental impact? There’s plenty to do on both an individual or a wider social level, and some of the events at our festival will delve into these micro and macro solutions. 

Start your sustainable living journey at the Govan Thriving Place Zero Waste Market, a community-led market in the Govan Cross Shopping Centre car park where you can pick up some re-used items. 

Listen in to the interactive lecture presented by Architectural Association Ground Lab and the Common Wealth Think Tank, which imagines how Glasgow might evolve if it were to implement the Green New Deal policies by 2030. You’ll hear about hot topics like flood resilience, alternative energies, pedestrianisation and retrofitting tenements.

Or perhaps you want to hear about sustainable food practices. The Glasgow City Food Plan was launched in June this year, and aims to improve access to food, reduce child food poverty, overhaul the food supply chain, and mitigate the climate effects of food waste within the city. Women In Property lead a webinar at the festival discussing the benefits of the plan and how we might embed growing spaces within disused heritage spaces.


We think heritage can be fun for all ages, so we’ve included loads of activities for families to get up to during Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival. 

Like a song and dance session with The McDougalls, the legendary touring theatre troupe for children. In “The McDougalls Tidy Up The Ocean”, they’ll take your wee’uns on a journey to the bottom of the sea with some favourite singalong hits from their show “The Big Splash!”.

Or, if you’re looking for an excuse to get outdoors, you could take a walk down the Children’s Walking Trail through Springburn Park, Winter Gardens & Environs. This trail is suitable for primary age, and was developed specially by the children at Elmvale Primary. Because really, who knows kids’ entertainment better than the kids themselves?


18TH AUGUST 2021


After a year of social distancing and closed off spaces, we’re celebrating the communities that bring people together in the heart of the city. 

Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival returns this September, and this time we’re going hybrid. As we begin to emerge from the pandemic and reacquaint ourselves with – dare we say it – going out, Glasgow’s heritage buildings are inviting us back in to explore both in-person and online.

Over 100 events will draw you in to Glasgow’s history and possible futures, with a mix of open buildings, physical and digital tours, webinars, and audio walks taking place between Monday 13th – Sunday 20th September.

Some buildings are free for you to simply walk in, while some require booking. Information on how and what to book is included in the programme.

Bookings open on Wednesday 1st September.

While we wait for tickets to launch, let’s take a closer look at the Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival 2021 programme.


The theme for this year’s festival is “Sustainable Communities”, so we’re spending the week talking about our relationship with nature in the city and potential eco-friendly futures for Glasgow. 

History virtuoso Lost Glasgow shares vintage photographs in an inspiring webinar on our city’s parks, which have proven vital to so many without private gardens of their own during lockdown. 

We’ll imagine how implementing the Green New Deal could reshape Glasgow in an interactive lecture delivered by Architectural Association Ground Lab and the Common Wealth Think Tank. 

And we’ve got several events exploring Glasgwegians’ relationship to local producers and sustainable eating, from our in-person trail through the Old Glasgow Markets to the Women in Property’s panel discussion on the new Glasgow City Food Plan.

There’s lots to dig into to help us imagine a brighter, more sustainable future for our dear green Glasgow. 

But wait, there’s more.


On the other side of our festival theme are the collectives that are nurturing community spirit in the heart of Glasgow. 

Community ownership can be an effective way that we can reclaim our heritage buildings and ensure that they stay standing. We’ll share some of the success stories of CIC owned buildings, like the ambitious renovation ongoing at Govanhill Baths (which has been rescued from closure by the Save Our Pool campaign).

As we hunt for sustainable solutions within architecture, it’s worth considering that the buildings built to last are already with us. We’ll dive into the potential of retrofit with buildings like Civic House, another community owned space that is being transformed into Scotland’s first carbon efficient ‘PassivWareHaus’ – all while preserving its original heritage features. 

And as we all know, people make Glasgow, so we’re meeting some of the groups that bring people together and nurture connections across the city. Groups like U Belong Glasgow, a multilingual community platform that features BPOC, LGBT+ and disabled creatives, or the Hidden Gardens, a once derelict area that has been resurrected and turned into a community garden.


This year we’re bringing back the wonder of walking into a building’s physical space, while still keeping the best bits from 2020’s digital festival. 

If you’re not feeling keen on venturing out to public events just yet, or are planning on joining us from further afield, there are lots of ways that you can still get involved:

  • Tune in to our webinars over Zoom
  • Download audio tours on GuidiGO and, if you’re in the area take them with you on a self-guided walk around the city. Get GuidiGO on your phone from the Apple Store or Google Play

Listen in to Glasgow Doors Open Days Radio, our new 24/7 broadcast of music, lectures, field recordings, and audio tours that you can find on our website during the festival


A key attribute of a sustainable city is walkability.  Glasgow is a very walkable city and a wander through the town can unearth all sorts of hidden gems, like the ones featured in our programme!

We are calling all Glasgow wanderers to join our Glasgow Doors Open Days Photography Competition and Gallery.  We’d love to see the city from your point of view.

How to enter

  • We are looking for an image you’ve taken of your favourite GDODF buildings, places, parks or sites you encounter on your wander.
  • Upload your picture to Instagram, tag @glasgowdoorsopendaysfestival and use the hashtag #GDODFphotography
  • Please give a caption for the picture in your submission and include its location
  • Alternatively you can email us your submission with the competition hashtag in the subject line to
  • Submit your entry by Monday 20th September

Our favourite images will be included in an online exhibition on our website and a £100 voucher for a Glasgow local business of your choice will be up for grabs for one lucky winner.


This competition is run by Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival and is in no way endorsed by Instagram. 

Closing date for entries is 19th September. 

Winner will be announced on @glasgowdoorsopendaysfestival Instagram account on Monday 20th September at 12pm GMT. 

All entries must be original works by the participant. Submissions must be taken within the Glasgow City boundary. 

By entering the contest, participants agree that photos submitted can be used by Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival to promote the Glasgow Doors Open Days Photography competition with appropriate accreditation. 

Prize will be redeemable at a Glasgow local business of your choice.