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Call for East Kilbride to become World Heritage Site

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A leading Canadian academic has called for the Scottish new town of East Kilbride to become a World Heritage Site.

Sylvia Grace Borda, a don at the University of British Columbia, is carrying out research into the town, which was built as an over-flow settlement for Glasgow in the 1950s.

She argues that the commitment to Modernism and the rich variety of architects that worked on the town give it a universal interest.

'East Kilbride is a solid model of New Town Modernism and had unbelievable investment during its early development,' Borda said.

'It is significant in terms of a post-war recovery project, when you consider every primary school was allotted more than £200,000 per site and assigned 0.8ha of land.

'Secondary schools were allotted 3.2ha of land and, from a Canadian perspective, are not only designed as monuments to education but as university campuses.

'Each site was designed by a specific architect team or firm - such as New Town Corp, Spence and Coia.'

The suggestion that East Kilbride should become a global architectural model has been met with bemusement north of the border, where the new towns, including Cumbernauld, are generally treated with disdain.

by Ed Dorrell

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