Located on the River Clyde, 42 miles (67 km) west of Edinburgh and 397 miles (639 km) north of London, Glasgow is Scotland's largest city. It is noted for its industrial heritage, strong local identity and vibrant cultural scene. Since the 12th C. it has developed through religious, educational, commercial and industrial activities becoming a centre for trade with North America and the West Indies in the 18th C. By the early 19th C. Glasgow was the second city of the Empire. With its growing importance, the city attracted a large number of immigrants (Irish, Jewish, Italian and East European) who contributed greatly to the economy and local community. However it also endured many of the side effects of rapid industrial growth, such as social deprivation, overcrowded slum housing and infant mortality. The economic base of the city shifted to heavy industry in the late 19th C. with the expansion of shipbuilding and engineering, which, susceptible to economic downturns, resulted in Glasgow being classed as a "depressed area" in the 1930s. The population of the city had reached one million by 1921 and continued to increase until the Second World War. Thereafter it declined as people were moved from city-centre slums to outlying housing schemes and the New Towns. Later, many of these new housing schemes became the focus of social problems. The population now stands at only 598,830 (2011).
In the 1970s many city centre buildings were destroyed to make room for urban motorways yet much of the city escaped intact. Today, Glasgow is an important location for education, finance, light industry, shipbuilding and tourism. It boasts numerous galleries, museums and historic buildings and has achieved the status of European City of Culture (1990) and UK City of Architecture and Design (1999). It also promoted itself through a long running community campaign under the slogan "Glasgow's Miles Better".
The city was host to the Glasgow Garden Festival in 1988 and the XXth Commonwealth Games in 2014. In terms of sport, the city is best known for its rival football teams, Rangers and Celtic (founded in 1873 and 1888 respectively). It is also home of the National Stadium at Hampden Park and the Scottish Football Museum, together with the National Indoor Sports Arena, Glasgow National Hockey Centre, Tollcross International Swimming Centre and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. Glasgow's former dockland is the location of Scotland's largest multi-use entertainment venue, the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, which opened in 1985, including the SSE Hydro (added in 2013).
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