The 16-acre masterplan for Belfast Waterside aims to repopulate the city of Belfast. To secure the best possible design for the future citizens, we have co-arranged and participated in a series of placemaking workshops aimed at 18-30-year-olds throughout the city of Belfast.
“Young people are a demographic that can be hard to reach, but who will also be the future inhabitants of the space we are creating,” says Chris Kane, Chairperson in Vanguard Real Estate, the developer of the project, to the Business Eye:
“For places and cities to succeed in a modern globally connected world, we need to not only harness the best practice of recent decades but also provide an opportunity to hear the views of the future workers and citizens of Belfast. For this project to succeed we want to ensure their voice is a loud one and impacts how we bring forward designs for what is a key development not just for this area, but for the whole city.”
The Project Manager from Henning Larsen, Lasse Westergaard, took part in the workshops with great enthusiasm:
”We find that this project has an enormous potential to unify the city and its residents and to include the East Bank in the inner city area. This age group is the future of Belfast, and they are good at looking past the existing structures and the intense past of the city and focus on the future solutions,” he says.
“We always wanted to include the people of Belfast very early on in the design phase. To make them ambassadors of this new area and to give them a say in the design of some of the central elements in the masterplan. It has a tremendous effect to simply ask them what activities they would like in their urban spaces, and how they would use the proposed buildings,” Westergaard adds.
The workshops are held in addition to three public events, which are open to all ages, and are part of a pre-application consultation on the next phase of proposals. The workshops are conducted together with Turley planning consultants, Chris Kane of Vanguard Real Estate and AECOM.