Vacant City Development Space In Focus

Space for 20,000 new Belfast homes is currently laying vacant and in public ownership, according to a city think tank.

More than two square kilometres of land in Belfast could be used to regenerate and reconnect communities within the inner and central city, the newly-launched Forum for an Alternative Belfast has claimed.

The forum - established to create a strong vision for a new capital city - says the land is still lying idle after more than a decade of a construction boom.

"Years of bad or mediocre redevelopment have continued to isolate large swathes of the city, creating ugly dead facades and leaving it largely empty at night," said Belfast Forum co-director Mark Hackett.
News Image
"It's hard to believe that an area the size of 500 football pitches is not being more productively used given that it is all located within a two kilometre walk of the city centre."

He said: "Our preliminary study indicates in excess of 20,000 extra people would comfortably be housed in the fractured inner city.

"With that comes the challenge of making new schools, parks and connecting with existing communities in an equitable manner – and doing so with development of enduring built quality."

Next month, the forum is bringing more than 70 of Belfast's leading architects, engineers, urban planners, arts experts, community leaders together in a four-day 'summer school' to develop workable ideas to transform the city.

"The five-day 'think tank' will examine what would happen if we stopped leaving the development of our city to chance and instead started to plan a common vision for how we see ourselves in 2020. We want everyone to take part in the wider discussions," Mr Hackett added.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

05 March 2003
Study to reshape Belfast city centre launched
NIO Minister Des Browne has today announced the start of a review of Belfast city's regeneration policy following the adoption of the Victoria Square Development Scheme last month. The GB-based consultancy, G V A Grimley, has been engaged to conduct the research and is expected to report to the Department by the end of April.
15 March 2004
St Patrick's Day event has support of BCC says councillor
The Chairman of Belfast City Council’s Good Relations Steering Panel has challenged claims that the Council is not supporting St Patrick’s Day in Belfast. It follows a protest outside Belfast City Hall last week by the St Patrick's Carnival Committee who claim the Council isn't funding this year's event at the City Hall.
23 July 2009
Belfast 'Twelfth' Was Shopping Hit
Initial feedback on the commercial impact of Belfast shops being open over the traditional 'Twelfth' celebration has been excellent. This year's event, titled 'Orangefest' on 13 July witnessed Belfast city centre shops opening on the day of the parades for the first time.
12 October 2004
City Hall prepares for bookworm invasion
Belfast City Hall is preparing itself for an invasion of young bookworms later this month. Belfast City Council is teaming up with two major cultural festivals, Young at Art and the Belfast Festival at Queen’s, to open up the world of children’s literature.
05 April 2004
Business membership figures show 'massive' increase
Figures released today by Belfast City Centre Management and the Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce show a massive increase in the number of businesses joining their joint membership scheme.