Getting real about shared space is the theme of an important event being held today (Thursday 4 March) at Farset International on the west Belfast interface and organised by the Community Relations Council.
CRC Chief Executive Duncan Morrow said
‘Too many people still think that the shared future debate is about more meetings. Actually it is about building and planning our towns and cities, sharing resources so that we can all use the library and the swimming pool, creating a transport system that takes people throughout the city and not just to one destination and growing a region where investors want to invest and tourists want to visit are not put off by endless concerns about violence and conflict ‘
Among the guest speakers will be leading international experts on planning and design in city space and transport as well as key public sector, academics and investors. The half day seminar is designed to allow participants to consider the practical implications for regeneration and redevelopment in Belfast of developing shared economic spaces, shared resources, shared streets and shared institutions.
CRC Chair, Tony McCusker, who is introducing the seminar, says:
‘This is an attempt to generate serious debate about how the concept of shared space might be made practical in Belfast over the next 5 to 10 years. We hope that those taking part will learn what practical steps need to be taken to create a genuinely Shared city and society.’
‘Peace means nothing if it does not lead to a more vibrant, prosperous and open economy and society. Critical to achieving this against a background of violence and division will be the growth and sustaining of shared spaces.’
The audience will consist of policy makers, private sector investors, academics, community activists, funders and local political representatives.
Guest speakers will include:
Joost Beundermann, a member of the think tank Demos which addresses the link between the built environment and social change:
‘What makes for Shared Space?’
Dr Ralf Brand, lecturer at the Manchester Architecture Research Centre:
‘The impact of design on separation or sharing in Belfast and beyond.’
Professor Peter Jones, a transport and sustainable development specialist:
‘Rethinking Transport and connectivity for a shared city.’