04/13/2014 03:03 EDT | Updated 06/13/2014 05:59 EDT

Plan to demolish high-rises as part of Commonwealth Games ceremony dropped

LONDON - Plans to demolish five high-rise apartment towers as part of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony have been dropped.

Officials said Sunday that safety and security concerns led to the change of heart.

Glasgow 2014 officials had planned to blow up five of the six Red Road apartments as a symbol of the city's commitment to regeneration even as it celebrates its past.

The idea had sparked opposition from residents who said it was insensitive. Many signed an online petition urging the plan to be scrapped.

The Games are set to open on July 23 with festivities that will be broadcast to much of the world.

The Red Road towers have come to symbolize both post-war optimism and urban decay. They were built in the 1960s to replace slum housing.