After Christmas, the bulldozers will move on to George Square and begin the transformation of the area at a cost of £15million.
The first step will be to remove all 12 statues in the Square, including the 78ft (24m) column bearing writer Sir Walter Scott.
Only the Cenotaph will remain while work is carried out, but experts say it will be protected at all times.
The work, which will take more than a year to complete, means a series of events that would normally be located in the Square, will have to be moved.
These include Armistice Day, Armed Forces Day and the Christmas celebrations, as well as the host of other activities that take place annually.
Liz Cameron, the city council's spokeswoman for jobs and the economy, said discussions would be held with the groups involved to find them a new location.
She said: "Clearly, there are things that go on in the Square that are hugely important to the city – things we are very proud of.
"We have been talking to the Royal British Legion about Armistice Day 2013 and about finding the most appropriate site for one of the biggest parades in the city.
"For Christmas 2013 we will be looking at some of the many things we can do.
"I would like to reassure people who are concerned about hugely important events, such as Armed Forces Day, that we will make sure they happen with due solemnity and respect.
"We will find all of them suitable spaces in which to gather and we will also find places where people involved in smaller events can gather to celebrate, show their feeling and demonstrate."
An international design competition has been launched for the new look George Square and the submissions on the shortlist will be put out to public consultation in December.
The first phase of the work, which will see most of the new look Square completed, will be finished before the start of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Mrs Cameron said: "The task of fully redeveloping George Square will be a substantial one, but one of the first steps is likely to involve removing the red Tarmac that caused the area to be known by the public as Red Square."
City bosses insist George Square is now badly rundown and not fit for the 21st century.
A design brief says the revamped area must celebrate the creativity of the city and its people and must create a day and night environment.
It must also be suitable for large and small activities, be of outstanding quality and create a world class tourist destination.
Council leader Gordon Matheson has made it clear he wants designers to consider installing a dramatic water feature in the area.
It is possible some of the bronze statues may be returned to the city's largest civic space, but the Scott monument will almost certainly be moved to a new home.
A report to councillors states: "While the majority of the statues are cast metal and can be removed, conserved and relocated in one piece, the removal of the sandstone monument to Sir Walter Scott will present a greater conservation challenge, to be developed and agreed in detail with Historic Scotland.
"It is possible the Scott monument will not be returned to the Square and one option may be to harness the power of this important architectural monument and to relocate it as a focal point in an area of regeneration."
But the report warns: "It seems unlikely any wholesale alteration to the existing arrangement of the monuments will be possible without having to overcome some measure of public disquiet."
Lighting will play a big part in the upgraded Square and designers have been told to think big when coming up with lighting plans.
In the report councillors are told: "There is a once in a generation chance to deliver a world class lighting design that turns the extraordinary into the breathtaking.
"The lighting design should be spirted and bold – it should not be obliged to follow what went before in George Square.
"It should be animated and should respond to the various users of the Square, for example gently glowing as office workers cross the Square in a drizzling cold winter evening or dazzling and vivid as thousands fill the Square for a concert.
"The lighting design should be refined and elegant during civic events or vibrant and playful for Christmas and the wider festive season."
The report says it is time to regain George Square's status and adds: "What better opportunity than the city's hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2014 when George Square will be viewed by a world audience not only as Glasgow's premier urban space but Scotland's premier urban space."