WE’RE often guilty in Glasgow of not taking credit for our successes, of failing to acknowledge and appreciate those things we do really well. Sometimes the things that we take for granted, others recognise as world-leading.

Over the next two days, experts from more than 50 countries will visit Glasgow to see first hand our approach to neighbourhood regeneration. They are doing so because the work we have been quietly getting on with in every corner of this city since the early 2000s is now internationally regarded as the way to rebuild communities.

It’s worth remembering where we’ve come from in a remarkably short space of time. The transfer of housing stock away from council control in 2003 signalled the beginning of the end of our unenviable reputation for poor social housing.

The demolitions, the refurbishments and the building programme which followed triggered the biggest physical transformation this city has experienced in its recent history.

It wasn’t just the bricks and mortar that changed. New and expanded community-controlled housing associations gave their tenants had a say in the decisions affecting them and their neighbourhoods.

Our citizens were given a greater control over their own lives than had been the case.

And the world has taken notice. I have twice spoken at the United Nations in Geneva about the strides Glasgow has made in community regeneration. Now, the UN’s Economic Commission for Europe has come to see our city for itself.

The Commission, which covers not just Europe but all of North America and Russia, ‘from Vancouver to Vladivostok’, wants to see a real city going through real changes.

They want to see how Glasgow provides access to decent, adequate, affordable and healthy housing and how we empower our communities in the process.

There are many cities across Europe, and indeed the world, which are experiencing similar changes to those which Glasgow has gone through in recent decades but have failed to get the fundamentals such as housing right.

With cities taking on an increasingly important role globally, the UN will continue to point to Glasgow with some simple advice: “This is how to do it.”

‘Connectivity’ move

LAST week, the First Minister unveiled an ambitious Programme For Government, one which acknowledges the challenges and aspirations of our city.

I was pleased to see a commitment to working with the City Council to determine the next steps regarding the report by the Connectivity Commission which was published earlier this year.

The Commission made a number of bold recommendations for transport enhancements across the Glasgow City Region, to improve the economic well-being of the west of Scotland as well as confronting the challenge of reducing carbon emissions.

The Programme For Government commits ministers to explore with us the potential for a Glasgow Metro, better connecting the City Region to the new jobs being created at the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland right next to Glasgow Airport.

The First Minister also announced a landmark investment of more than £500million to improve bus infrastructure across the country. That will help to support work we’ve already begun in Glasgow, where the bus remains the most popular form of public transport in a city with low car ownership and where many communities are not connected to the rail network.

And there has been understandable concern in recent months about rising drug deaths nationally and within Glasgow.

In this context, an additional £20million to help tackle the public health emergency of drug deaths, support local services and provide targeted support is most welcome.

The Programme has much more: a ‘Green New Deal’; a further £1billion investment in our schools; continuing support for the Celtic Connections festival; legislation to curb ticket touts at next summer’s Euro2020; and the commencement of the first Scottish Child Payments by next Christmas.

These are policies which will support the city’s vibrancy and economy and improve the lives of ordinary Glaswegians.