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Showing posts with label Community. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Community. Show all posts

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Meeting the Challenges of Community Planning in the Age of Austerity | Friday 3 May, 10am - 4pm at UUJ

Students and staff of BSc Hons Community Development are holding a Community Planning Conference at the University of Ulster Jordanstown.


Click to Enlarge.


The keynote speaker, Mae Shaw (University of Edinburgh), will draw on lessons learnt from the Scottish model of community planning to challenge us to reflect on the issues and challenges for the community, voluntary and statutory sector in implementing community planning in Northern Ireland.

The conference will also draw on local case-studies to highlight some of the benefits of adopting a community planning model. Gavan Rafferty (School of the Built Environment, University of Ulster) will talk about local examples of Community Planning in practice.

The Conference will include three themed workshops.

Date: Friday 3 May, 11am - 4pm
Venue: Room 8K14B, Jordanstown Campus, University of Ulster

For further details and to book a place please contact Dr Rosemary Moreland 02890 368333 or email [email protected]

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Inner North Belfast Campus Development Group Launch Event | Fri 18 Jan, 9am, Clifton House

During 2012 representatives from community organisations in the Inner North Belfast area have held a series of discussions to develop an engagement process in relation to the new University of Ulster development. 

As a result of these discussions they have agreed a short charter that they believe will maximise benefits for the community and for the University.


The Campus Development Group (CDG) will be formally launched at Clifton House, Belfast on Friday 18th January at 9am. Forum for Alternative Belfast and Community Places will provide technical advice and support. 

The following is the charter developed by the Campus Development Group...

Friday, 21 September 2012

City Shapers: Dr. Callie Persic

CITY SHAPERS: What's Your Role?

Whether your role is architect, community representative, cyclist or citizen, we all have a part to play in shaping the city around us, from big scale planning to small scale interventions. In this series, we meet the people making a difference in Belfast and beyond.

Dr. Callie Persic is originally from the United States. After coming to Belfast to complete her PhD in Anthropology at Queen’s University, she now resides here and works for the West Belfast Partnership Board (WBPB). She spoke to Ailish Killilea who volunteers at PLACE and works as an urban designer with Forum for Alternative Belfast.

***

How long have you worked with WBPB and what is your role?
I have worked at the WBPB for the last seven and a half years and am the Strategic Regeneration Manager. The Partnership is a cross-sector partnership that works across a number of themes. Specifically my remit covers Housing, Environment & Planning and Economic Development & Neighbourhood Renewal. There are five Area Partnerships in Belfast and I have strong relationships across the city with my colleagues.

How do you find working with the Partnership Board and what type of projects do you deal with?
I like working in the Partnership, I actually like working with different people and in different sectors - I get quite a buzz out of that. Because my remits are so wide, I could work on a number of things. Regeneration is many things linked together. In relation to economic development, I work with a very strong committee, what we are looking at is how to support local creative industries, small businesses and SMEs (small & medium enterprises).

This can be localised or can reach city wide. We work on community development model that can help local traders and creative industries get a head start for example we have supported the West Belfast Traders Forum and the tourism initiative Fáilte Feirste Thiar, which are now operating independently.


"Regeneration is many things linked together"

In terms of spatial regeneration, housing and environmental planning, I think we could do so much more - but resources can limit the expanse of our projects. The progress of this work comes in peaks and valleys depending on [whether] there are resources. It can be very frustrating as it can take years to see something happen.

That said, the work is very interesting and we have many projects on the go in the West. Currently the Glen 10 Development Framework is out to community consultation and the Andersontown Barracks is another huge and very interesting project, something we have worked on with PLACE. We organised the community consultation for that — it is a former military site and the redevelopment of is hugely important for Belfast as it is part of conflict transformation and the use of space.

In terms of local work I sit on each of the Neighbourhood Partnerships, there are 5 of them in West Belfast. It is important to be able to support local renewal as well as strategic and wider reaching regeneration.

Callie Persic outside the West Belfast Partnership Board. Picture by Ailish Killilea.

You recently set up the Pop up shop in West Belfast, which was very successful. How did you find setting it up and running it?
The Pop Up Shop (Síopa Sealadach) was result of a number of things coming together—support for the creative industries, addressing empty shops and linking into the increased footfall during the Féile and seizing an opportunity. Our neighbours, SCA (Springfield Charitable Association), very kindly gave us use of the space prior to them moving into their new premises. We were very lucky as I’m aware setting up a pop up is not always that easy.

The shop was opened by the DCAL Minister Carál Ni Chuilín on the 30th of July and it ran until the 12th of August. I am delighted by the success of the shop—there was a great sense of excitement and a ‘can do’ attitude. Something like this had not been done on the Falls Road before and it generated a lot of interest and publicity.

"...we want to make sure there are good quality services to help people who really need it."

It was a great project to be involved in and I am delighted to report that the creatives involved ‘re-popped’ after the space on the Falls Road closed - they are temporarily located on 155 Northumberland Street across from the International Wall. What is great about the pop up shop is that it gives creatives the opportunity to test out their business to the market and make a go of it until they can afford to take on their own unit.

Are there any new projects in the pipeline that you are particularly interested in?
We have a lot going on across all the themes in the Partnership and I am interested in how we can carry out regeneration of Belfast through more effective collaboration. Our remit is to work with the worst 10% - we want to make sure there are good quality services to help people who really need it.

In terms of economic development we have been working towards a better relationship with InvestNI, recently embarking on a piece of work together drawing up an investment proposition for West Belfast, which will be extremely useful as we seek investment and promote tourism.

On a wider city scale, we have been part of the FAB Summer School 2012, looking at how West and East Belfast connect to the city centre. Analysis showed how poorly the West connects to the city, especially in the ‘Shatterzone’ area on Divis Street. I was glad to see this year comparative work to other cities and an evidence-based approach, which helped inform my thinking as to the future needs of the city and our communities. That is a project where leadership is necessary in how you take that forward. It will need multiple partners lining up their plans and resources.

How would you unwind after a long day?
I volunteer in my spare time - I am the Chair of Skegoneill Glandore Common Purpose, an interface organisation in North Belfast. I really enjoy it because the projects are so interesting but is very similar to my professional career and so I need to find other ways to take a break and unwind.

I do Bikram Yoga in the Conway Mill. It is physically intense but I find it very relaxing and focuses me. I like walking around the city, taking pictures and exploring the city. Best of all though is when I am just chilled out with friends—going for walks or meeting up and having tea and cakes!

Interview at WBPB HQ. Picture by Ailish Killilea

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be so many things—in fact I still do! I initially thought I would be a medical doctor but maybe because I moved so much I became interested in other cultures and in the end I settled on anthropology. My undergraduate degree is in philosophy but I went on to study anthropology and this is what brought me to Belfast. My PhD thesis looked at women, power, feminism and identity.


"I really believe in Belfast."

What book are you reading at the moment?
I usually have about 3 or 4 books on the go and I just finished the most recent Deborah Harkness book—which is a real curl-up-on-the-sofa book. But I also have been reading 'Welcome to the Urban Revolution'—It’s useful to read case studies about urban development and look at practices elsewhere—I’m really interested in cities, looking at cities and how they work. I think even you can read a little at the end of each day, it is so beneficial. Also I just re-read 'The Importance of Being Earnest' and it is such a brilliant play and makes me laugh out loud. I always have more books I want to read than time to enjoy them.

I also find I’m reading more and more on my phone, getting digestible articles, that if I have a moment, I can drop in and out of.

If you could invite 5 famous people to dinner, dead or alive, who would they be?
I was trying to get it down to five! Oscar Wilde is a must, Hilary Clinton, Amelia Peabody, David Attenborough, Nan Goldin (her work is so edgy and different) and Robert Plant - because of my love for Led Zeppelin.

If you were in charge, what changes would you make to Belfast as a city?
I really believe in Belfast. I believe in the greatness of Belfast. I would like to see Belfast thrive and be its own thing and not become just another city that you could find anywhere. My vision for Belfast is to have a better connected city in every way - that people feel connected to each other and the city and that there is a better sense of collective ownership. I think there are many aspects to this because it’s about transport, employment, public spaces, mental maps and challenging our own behavior and patterns. I would also like to see a change in the city in terms of a better balance of gender equality with more women involved at leadership levels, making decisions and having some influence in how the city takes shape.

***

If you or someone you know is a City Shaper, in Belfast or across Northern Ireland, we'd love to talk to you. Contact [email protected]

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Consultation opens for a new Urban Regeneration and Community Development Policy Framework

The Department for Social Development, responsible for Urban Regeneration in Northern Ireland has opened a public consultation process for a new Urban Regeneration and Community Development Policy Framework.

The Framework will determine the priorities for urban regeneration and community development policies and programmes over the coming years. These are more familiar in the shape of large projects like the Victoria Square development, Public Realm improvements in town centres and Neighbourhood Renewal activity.

The Victoria Square Comprehensive Development Scheme was initially
chosen by the Social Development Minister in July 2000, following an
assessment of four city centre sites, and officially adopted by the
Department in January 2003. Construction began in 2004 on the largest
single investment ever in Belfast and was completed in Early 2007.

Commenting on the beginning of the public consultation process Minister McCausland said:

Friday, 30 October 2009

Construction Excellence Awards 2009

Above:Image of the Toome Bypass & Bridge via Belfast Telegraph
www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/environment/construction-excellence-awards


In celebration of its 10th Anniversary, the Construction Employers Federation (CEF), this year added an extra category to the Construction Excellence awards; the pursuit of the best construction project completed in Northern Ireland in the last decade. Projects had been chosen from ten categories ranging from education to entertainment. The award was determined by a public vote undertaken in conjunction with The Belfast Telegraph.

The clear overall winner, announced on the 8th October at the 2009 ceremony, was the Toome Bypass (category: roads). As a regular user of the bypass I can understand why it amassed 54% of the vote. Having reduced average travelling times between Belfast and Derry from almost 3hrs to 1hr and 30 min, this in itself is worthy of recognition. Not to mention the simplistic beauty of the bridge which spans the River Bann, a key component of the bypass.

Designed with both road users, the people of Toome and the local environment in mind the project has been a consistent success. From reducing carbon emissions through the village, the likelihood of an accident within the village and encouraging environmental change though the carefully considered landscaping surrounding the bypass (which included the planting of some 68,000 trees), whilst also retaining access to the river for leisure activities; the bypass presented a strong case against it's competitors. Comments by CEF Managing Director, John Armstrong:

“What the shortlist for the building of the decade really demonstrates is the widespread and positive impact the construction industry has had in Northern Ireland. It is no exaggeration to say that the construction industry has brought benefits to practically every single person living in Northern Ireland... The poll has generated an outstanding response from the public. The voting area of their website has had 10,000 unique visitors, over 150 comments have been left and around 16,000 votes have been cast.”

The statistics also help to illuminate the interest the public in NI have in their built environment.

The close runner up in the poll was Victoria Square, Belfast (category: retail). Another key award of the evening was the Overall Award, given to Patton Construction for Wellington Street Presbyterian Church, Ballymena.

More info
CEF Homepage
Belfast Telegraph: Construction Excellence Awards
SIB: Toome Bypass

Thursday, 18 June 2009

"Homes that should be lived in"


Image from bfrank35 on Flickr

In the Guardian, an extract from Anna Minton's Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First-Century City on the unforeseen consequences of the Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder programme in Oldham.

"...It was intended to be part of the regeneration process, but, as with all grand intentions, it had unforeseen consequences on the ground - the first of which was riding roughshod over the community, and the second is that as soon as you start getting investors in, they're interested in the bottom line and not necessarily the interests of regeneration ... You end up with the wrong results and the wrong development."

- Paul Stinchcombe, a former Labour MP who voted for the legislation

The Guardian: Razing the roots