Peace Walls and Barrier Removal: Building sustainable communities

Year published: 2016

Jessica Blomkvist ,BCRC, March 2016

In May 2010, Belfast Conflict Resolution Consortium (BCRC) issued a position paper as a contribution to the broader debate around interface barriers and peace walls. Six principles were outlined in the paper:

1. Residents must be at the heart of decision-making about interface areas. 
2. The regeneration of interface areas is at the core of addressing problems experienced by residents.
3. Residents have identified their priorities and should be listened to.
4. The focus on walls/barriers in isolation from other issues is detrimental.
5. The walls/barriers are a symptom rather than a cause of division.
6. Public policies (including planning, education, health, housing) should support the regeneration and sustainable development of interface areas.

These principles were reviewed at the beginning of 2013 and a discussion paper was launched in June 2013 which reiterated these principles.1 In light of recent research and policy related to peace walls and interface barriers, not least the Northern Ireland Executive’s commitment to remove all peace walls/interface barriers by the year 2023, BCRC has again revisited the principles. This Policy Brief outlines the findings from an engagement and consultation process conducted during autumn 2015/spring 2016 with a range of key stakeholders at grassroots and statutory levels