Ambition is always to be applauded - so, it is with great interest we learn of plans by Susan Aitken, the woman set to run Glasgow City Council, to turn the city into a vibrant metropolis along the lines of Barcelona.

However, if such great ambitions are just empty boasts - to help secure the all but guaranteed victory of the SNP over Labour in Glasgow at the May local elections - then they carry with them great political risks. Disappointed electorates are vengeful.

It is without question that Glasgow needs visionary change. It is a city built on a great waterway which makes almost no commercial use out of the River Clyde. Lanes, which in Berlin or Utrecht would be throbbing with entrepreneurial life, are dead. Areas like Tradeston are ghost zones. Simple steps can be taken to change the city: give artists and start-ups rent free use of empty buildings; see the Clyde as a tourism 'hot zone' that would change the city; invest in areas that are an eye-sore to visitors arriving in the city.

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Aitken's plans, at the moment, have little substance. But her ambition is to be admired. We hope she has the determination and team around her to make her plans a reality. But if she trades on such dreams and then disappoints, she should be aware of the concomitant cost to her in reputation and votes.