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Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Culture Night "pocket park" highlights lack of quality public space in Belfast

Press release: 21.09.2011
Culture Night "pocket park" highlights lack of quality public space in Belfast

Inspired by the international Park(ing) Day, PLACE Architecture Centre will create a unique ‘Pocket Park’ in the City Centre on Culture Night, Friday 23rd September. For one night only, a number of parking spaces on Waring Street in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter will be transformed into an interactive, exciting new space. By building a pocket park (a mini green space in an urban area) the project team aims to highlight the current lack of quality open space within Belfast City Centre.

Space usage in Belfast City Centre (PLACE estimate)

The project is being run by a small team of young architects and planners. "We want to bring Belfast back from a vehicular scale to a human scale", says Aaron Coulter, an Urban Design student and intern at PLACE. "We are reclaiming space normally dedicated to the car and creatively transforming it into a small public park and activity space. We'll have interactive games, places to relax, green space and more in Belfast's new public space for the evening”.

Participants on Culture Night will be brought on a journey through the new park space and asked for their thoughts on public space in the city at the end.

The Pocket Park is being developed as part of somewhereto_, a nationwide project inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, aimed at finding spaces for young people aged 16-25 do the things they love. somewhereto_ is funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to help build a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games across the UK.

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Notes to editors:
- The park will be active on Waring Street in Belfast on Culture Night from 4pm-8pm
- PLACE is the Architecture and Built Environment Centre for Northern Ireland
- PLACE was established in 2004

somewhereto_ (www.somewhereto.com)
- Inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, somewhereto_ is a nationwide project to help young people find the space they need to do the things they love, within sport, culture and the arts.
- All young people need somewhereto_ do the things they love. The project is here to help those who don’t have the space or place. By opening up spaces and connecting young people with local space-holders, via our website, regional coordinators, competitions, events and more.
- somewhereto_ is run by Livity, a youth engagement agency, in media partnership
with Channel 4 Education and funded by Legacy Trust UK.

Legacy Trust UK (www.legacytrustuk.org)
- Legacy Trust UK is an independent charity whose mission is to support a wide range of innovative cultural and sporting activities which celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and which will leave a lasting legacy in communities throughout the UK.
- Legacy Trust UK is funded by a £40 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund (£29m), Department for Culture Media and Sport (£6m) and Arts Council England (£5m), and is a Principal Funder of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival.

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