In a new series, we ask practitioners, experts and enthusiasts for their take on Northern Ireland's built environment - where are we now, how did we get here, and where are going?
Arthur, you have recently been appointed chair of MAG - what is your vision for Northern Ireland?
NORTHERN IRELAND SHOULD...
1. Just do it - we built great ships here when feasibility studies and economic appraisals would have shown that we had no chance of success.
2. Keep flexible - we are still small enough to take risks. Commercial companies see us as a great place to experiment before launching programmes across the wider region - if it works here then they know it will work elsewhere. We must learn from this and try things out ourselves. I have found people willing to live and work in ways they would not have imagined - the first penthouses ever in Northern Ireland were the most expensive in the block - and the first to sell. We could have monthly Culture Nights in Belfast for 47 years for the price of new paving in the city centre - and have new paving out of the profits.
3. Keep seeing the bigger picture - there is a world out there where huge numbers of people are living in conditions of poverty which are not imaginable in Northern Ireland.
5. Stop taking ourselves so seriously - nobody else does.
4. There is no number 4 because that would be too orderly
and... nobody listens to me anyway!
Arthur reminds us that his response is a personal statement and does not necessarily represent the views of the MAG or his position as Chair.
Related: Download the MAG's Raising Expectations report from the PLACE website - MAG - Raising Expectations [PDF, 420KB]