Thursday, 24 October 2013

Have Your Say: Living Places: An Urban Stewardship and Design Guide for NI

Living Places: An Urban Stewardship and Design Guide for NI aims to clearly establish the key principles behind good place making. It seeks to inform and inspire all those involved in the process of managing (stewardship) and making (design) urban places, with a view to raising standards across Northern Ireland.


Public consultation on this draft DoE document continues until Thursday 31 October 2013.

University of Ulster student Alex O'Hara receives the 2013 RTPI Joanne Mathers Award

Research into the importance of integrating public health issues with urban planning has secured a top award (the 2013 Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI NI) Joanne Mathers Award) for a student from the University of Ulster’s School of the Built Environment.

Professor Greg Lloyd, Head of the School of the Built Environment,
Alex O’Hara, recipient of the Joanne Mathers Award and
Carol Ramsey, Chairperson Royal Town Planning Institute (NI)

Alex O’Hara from Ballyclare, graduated earlier this year and undertook his research with Belfast Healthy Cities, a citywide partnership working to improve the population’s health equity and wellbeing.

He reviewed a wide range of existing national and international publications to identify why planning matters to health. His research supported the view that a quality built environment can greatly affect the standard of health and wellbeing of those who interact with it.

Alex’s research also showed that further work needs to be undertaken to improve the level of mutual understanding and integration between planning and health professionals.

Gavan Rafferty, Lecturer in Spatial Planning and Development, said Belfast Healthy Cities was delighted with the quality of Alex’s work.

He added: “His research provided added value to the organisation’s commitment to developing knowledge of building healthier cities. It also has the potential to inform wider practice in Northern Ireland, demonstrating the benefits of students undertaking ‘real life’ research projects.”

Professor Greg Lloyd, Head of the School of the Built Environment at Ulster congratulated Alex on his “well-deserved” success.

He said: “These are exciting and promising times for planning in Northern Ireland, with a reformed land use planning system in hand, the Review of Public Administration and the introduction of community planning to take place shortly – and this prestigious award reflects these ambitions.

“It is richly deserved by Alex and I wish him every success in his career. The School of the Built Environment is very proud of him.”

Caption (l-r): Professor Greg Lloyd, Head of the School of the Built Environment, Alex O’Hara, student recipient of the Joanne Mathers Award and Carol Ramsey, Chairperson Royal Town Planning Institute (NI)

Monday, 21 October 2013

Have Your Say: Draft Greater Ballysillan Area Masterplan

A draft masterplan has today been launched to set out a vision for the future of the Greater Ballysillan area which will be used by central and local government, community organisations and the private sector to plan investment in the area over the next 10 to 20 years.

Draft Greater Ballysillan Area Masterplan.

The masterplan has been commissioned by the Department for Social Development. The Paul Hogarth Company has been appointed from a consultancy framework to produce the masterplan. 

A series of public consultation events will give people a chance to view the proposals and share their thoughts with the consultancy team.

  • Monday 28 October (7.00-9.00pm) Westland Community Centre 
  • Tuesday 5 November (6.30-8.30pm) Benview Community Centre 
  • Wednesday 6 November (2.30-4.30pm) Concorde Community Centre 
  • Monday 11 November (5.00-7.00pm) Immanuel Church of Ireland 
  • Tuesday 12 November (6.00-8.00pm) Sacred Heart Church 
  • Wednesday 13 November (11.30-2.00pm) Eglinton Presbyterian Church 
  • Tuesday 19 November (6.30-8.30pm) Ballysillan Community Forum 
  • Thursday 21 November (5.00-7.00pm) Cavehill Methodist Church 
  • Tuesday 26 November (5.00-7.00pm) Joanmount Methodist Church 
  • Saturday 14 December (11.00-3.00pm) Boys Model School (Family Fun Day

Click here to view the Draft Greater Ballysillan Masterplan. A feedback form can be downloaded at this link. For further information email:

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

European Walled Towns Symposium | Thursday 24 October 2013, Derry~Londonderry

The Symposium takes place from 23 - 26 October 2013 and is hosted by the European Walled Towns Association, Holywell Trust and Derry City Council.

European Walled Towns Symposium

Through an engaging programme of lectures and activities 'Historic Towns - Walled Towns' aims to bring different communities in Europe together to share their expertise and local experiences in the following fields, and particularly against the backdrop of the economic crisis:
  • Balancing heritage conservation with job creation & regeneration priorities;
  • Engaging people and business in heritage;
  • Heritage management in post-conflict or contested spaces;
  • Creating a heritage legacy from Cities of Culture.
Speakers from various backgrounds and nationalities will present their best practice examples and three elaborate workshops allow delegates to engage in local challenges. Additionally, there is ample opportunity to connect with other delegates in a number of social events.

Historic Walled Towns - Walled Towns | Thursday 24 October 2013


Friday, 11 October 2013

Urban Exploration: Andrew Molloy & Fergus Jordan | 30 October, 1pm, Belfast Exposed

Urban Exploration is a discussion with architect and University of Ulster doctoral student Andrew Molloy responding to urban exploration and Psychogeography, examining some of the research methods underpinning Fergus Jordan’s Garden Estate and within his own practice.

Copyright: Fergus Jordan.

Garden Estate is a new series of work examining the legacy of a heroin epidemic which devastated a 1970’s council estate on the edge of Ballymena called Dunclug. The exhibition runs from 17 October - 4 November 2013 at Belfast Exposed, Donegall Street, Belfast.

Urban Exploration takes place at Belfast Exposed, Donegall Street, Belfast on 30th October 2013 from 1 - 2pm.

For more information visit:

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Have Your Say: Ebrington Development Framework Consultation

Ilex is seeking your views on the regeneration of the Ebrington site in Derry~Londonderry.

Works completed to date include the development of Cunningham Square and Ebrington Square and the Peace Bridge and the refurbishment of building 71. Buildings 80 and 81 are currently being fitted out as temporary exhibition space for the Turner Prize 2013 and ultimately as a hub for the creative industries.

Ebrington, Derry~Londonderry

Mel Higgins, Interim Chief Executive of Ilex explained: “A development framework for the 26-acre site is currently under way to ensure sustainable development in the short, medium and long term. Ebrington will seek to attract inward investment and offer a variety of economic, social and cultural benefits,whilst being carefully integrated with the city's One Plan, which forms the basis for future development in the city. We’re therefore keen to engage with local community groups, residents, businesses and individuals, to hear their ideas, and address any concerns they may have."

The second phase of consultation will commence in November, after which an outline planning application for the entire site will be submitted in January 2014.

For more information:

Click here to have your say online. The deadline for responses is 5pm on Friday 25th October 2013.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Belfast School of Architecture & Art Open Night | Tues 22 Oct, 6 - 9pm

The Belfast School of Architecture and Belfast School of Art Open Night will be held on Tuesday 22 October, 6pm - 9pm at the University of Ulster's York Street Campus. Details below:

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

'Issues Now' coffee-time debates | Autumn 2013

'Issues Now' was a series of coffee-time debates hosted at the Black Box, Belfast on Wednesday mornings from September - December 2013. 'Issues Now' highlighted the critical issues in relation to design in the built environment and encouraged debate around these themes.

A Belfast School of Architecture (UU) event.

Emily Smyth (University of Ulster) who organised 'Issues Now' explains that:
"The issues that drive debate and development in the design of the built environment are many and varied. Issues might take place on a world stage and have individual global impact, or they may emerge locally and successionally over time or space, having impact cumulatively. The measure of their ‘criticality’ might be life threatening, environmentally destructive, socially adaptive, lifestyle impacting, economic, poetic, moral, ethical, political, professional, personal."
"A critical awareness of these matters is essential across the design and built environment disciplines in order to understand the contribution each can make to the context of concerns and ideas. This series of debates will introduce the most current preoccupations within the design of the built environment at the scales of the building, city, region and indeed the earth."
The 'Issues Now' series of coffee-time debates presented the multiplicity of views, issues and actions of the professions and campaign organisations working in design and the built environment in Northern Ireland.

Below is a summary of each event by Emily Smith (University of Ulster):