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After many years of dereliction caused by the decline of shipbuilding and the migration of Glasgow's docks to the Firth of Clyde, since the mid-1980s, the banks of the River Clyde at Glasgow have become a focus for property developers. Mirroring the Docklands scheme in London, the old docks, and sites of old granaries, wharves and shipyards in Glasgow are being redeveloped into up-market residential apartments, office complexes and leisure facilities.
The earliest developments were the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) at the former Queen's Dock in 1985, and the Glasgow Garden Festival at the former Prince's Dock in 1988, which demonstrated the potential of the riverside area as a catalyst for urban regeneration. Through the 1990s, riverside apartment buildings began to appear at Lancefield Quay on the North bank and the former General Terminus Quay on the South bank, and the Norman Foster-designed Clyde Auditorium was opened at the SECC in 1997. The former Garden Festival site is now home to the Glasgow Science Centre including Glasgow Tower (the spiritual successor to the Clydesdale Bank tower which was part of the Garden Festival). There has been further development at this site, with a new headquarters for BBC Scotland forming the cornerstone of a new "media village".
Buildings and phases
Phase 1 of the Glasgow Harbour Project, by the Clyde Port Authority at the former Meadowside Granary, Yorkhill Quay and confluence of the River Kelvin in Partick, has consisted of high rise residential accommodation and the construction of a riverside walkway.
Phase 2 of the project will include more high-rise apartment towers, including a 23-storey, 134 metres (440 ft) residential block. This has sparked controversy given Glasgow's history of tower block building, particularly in the 1960s, with some of the new developments being compared unfavourably to the Red Road flats in the city's north side. The area now includes the new Museum of Transport and there are plans for large-scale commercial developments at the site.
In September 2006, the Clyde Arc road bridge opened to traffic, enhancing access to the South Bank at the SECC. Transport links will also be a key feature of Glasgow Harbour, with a pre-light rail metro system planned, to be called Clyde Fastlink, which will link the area to the city centre areas, with possible interchanges to the Subway. There is also a Car Club, with 2 vehicles provided by Glasgow Car Club.