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Monday, 23 June 2014

What if! I could live in the city? | Forum for Alternative Belfast Summer School 2014

What if
I could live in the city?

What if I could walk to school? What if I could cycle to work? What if the park, playground, shop and cinemas were just around the corner?

Over the past twenty years other cities in Europe have witnessed a desire for people to live back in the city. The suburban dream of the last fifty years, made possible by the motor car, is coming to an end. What if, I could live in the city again?

This is the theme of the Forum for Alternative Belfast's 6th annual summer school to be held in Belfast City Hall from Monday 18th to Friday 22 August 2014.



The population of Belfast has decreased from just under half a million people to 273,000 over the past fifty years. Only 32,000 people currently live within a 20 minutes walk of the city centre. There is currently 107 hectares, equivalent to 265 football pitches, of vacant building land in the centre of Belfast.

There are also many empty existing buildings including shops and offices that could be converted into places to live. What do we need to do now to stimulate a desire and confidence to move back into the city? What type of housing creates a vibrant city?

Key themes for the week:
  • types and tenure of housing
  • new ways of living, the size of households
  • street design, making streets worth living on
  • land available in the city
  • other new developments in the city
  • financial delivery models
  • gentrification and economic interfaces
  • marketing a renewed city, new city policies

The week is a learning opportunity for anyone interested in housing and the city. You can get involved for five days or to dip in and out of events. 

For more information visit: www.forumbelfast.org.

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