Showing posts with label DOE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DOE. Show all posts

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Living Places: An Urban Stewardship & Design Guide wins at the UK Place Making Awards 2015

DOE Planning's Living Places: An Urban Stewardship and Design Guide for Northern Ireland has won a prestigious UK Planning Award.

Stewardship, the way in which our urban places are managed and maintained, has traditionally been considered separately from the planning and design process. However, Living Places for the first time treats urban stewardship and design with equal measure.

The judges described Living Places as ‘ambitious in scope and inclusive in approach, resulting in the production of an impressive design guide for Northern Ireland'.

Launch of Living Places in September 2014. L - R: Michael Corr
(Creative Director, PLACE), Minister Mark H Durkan (DoE),
Suzanne Wylie (Chief Executive, Belfast City Council) and James
Hennessey (Associate Director, The Paul Hogarth Company).

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said:
“It is very fitting that Living Places has received such a prestigious award. The guide inspires a fresh and exciting new approach to planning for our villages, town and cities.

“It identifies people and place as the two central pillars of successful and sustainable urban areas. The guide recognises the central role that planning and design has to play in the creation and maintenance of great places old and new.

“The timing of the award could not be better, achieved as we hand planning powers over to the new Councils. ‘Living Places’ will assist councils, designers, community groups, the general public and all users of the reformed planning system to shape how their areas grow and develop. 
“Through this fresh approach to planning, great potential exists for Living Places to be a significant influence in the North, now and into the future.”

Living Places was produced in collaboration with The Paul Hogarth Company with Gareth Hoskins Architects and a steering group of key stakeholders including PLACE.

James Hennessey from The Paul Hogarth Company commented:
"As authors of the guide we would like to extend our thanks and congratulations to the many people from different walks of life who contributed to shaping this document. Making and caring for great places is a collaborative process and we hope that Living Places will help inspire everyone to work together in transforming our towns and cities as better places for all."

The 2015 Place Making award ceremony was held on Tuesday 31 March 2015 at the Royal Institution, Albemarle Street, London. From over 200 entries, 14 projects across the UK were announced as winners at the event.

Living Places was published by the Environment Minister Mark H Durkan on the 18 September 2014 at a symposium organised by PLACE. The symposium took place at the Duncairn Centre for Culture & Arts and followed a series of training workshops delivered by PLACE across NI to outline the concepts and principles of Living Places. To find out more about the workshops and launch symposium organised by PLACE click

To find out more about Living Places: An Urban Stewardship and Design Guide for Northern Ireland, click

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.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

DoE Minister launches the draft Living Places Urban Design Guide at the PLACE Urban Design Academy

Department of the Environment Minister Mark H Durkan launched the consultation on an urban stewardship and design guide for Northern Ireland at the PLACE Urban Design Academy.

On Thursday 8 August the Minister visited the Academy to see how PLACE encourages young people to think creatively and explore ways to shape their local areas. Through PLACE's somewhereto_ project the Academy was able to take place in a former retail unit on Bangor’s main street. Using empty retail units in this way proves that thinking laterally can enhance the offering and environment of the high street and demonstrate alternative use of urban space.

Left - Right: Luke McMahon (Academy participant), DoE Minister Mark H Durkan,
James Hennessey (The Paul Hogarth Company) and Beth Wilson (Academy participant).

Thursday, 11 October 2012

UAHS Heritage Time Conference | Tues 30 Oct 2012, ChristChurch, Belfast

The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society present a conference aimed at promoting the continued use, sustainable reuse and adaption of historic buildings at the heart of communities by the government, local groups and private individuals. Heritage Time will take place at ChristChurch, Belfast on Tuesday 30th October 2012, 9am - 3pm. The application to attend (see end of post) should be returned to the UAHS by post or email: [email protected]

Credit: Ulster Architectural Heritage Society.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

What I learned from the FAB Summer School 2012

Anna Skoura works with the Forum for Alternative Belfast and is a contributor to the PLACE Blog. She reports on the Forum's recent Summer School, "Re-stitching the city" held at Belfast City Hall from 13th-17th August.

The Forum for Alternative Belfast (FAB) 2012 Summer school took place two weeks ago (13-17 August) in the City Hall. The event was organised in collaboration with the East (EWPB) and West Belfast Partnership Boards (WBPB). The theme was “Re-stitching the city” and its primary goal was to address the very poor connection of the city centre with East and West Belfast. This is the fourth FAB Summer school, after 2009 which resulted to the "missing city map", 2010 which focused on North Belfast and 2011 on South Belfast. It followed the same structure: presentations for the first two days, public consultation on Tuesday and Wednesday evening and workshops during the rest of the week.
Photo by David Bunting
The organisers along with Belfast’s governmental and community bodies (Belfast City Council, East and West Belfast Partnership boards, Department for Social Development (DSD), Department of Environment (DOE), Department for regional Development (DRD)) presented their views and future projects related to the study areas.

Right from the start, it was interesting to see the distinctive approach that East and West Partnership representatives held during their opening presentations. Maurice Kinkead (CEO of EBPB) in an optimistic manner highlighted the positive impact of the Partnership’s recent activity in certain areas of East Belfast, while Geraldine McAteer (WBPB), very concerned, underlined West Belfast’s challenges and most urgent needs. Regarding the presentations given by the different Departments, the lack of a comprehensive vision for the city’s future and the lack of inter-departmental collaboration becomes evident. Sadly, clashing projects are sometimes the result.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Past in the Present: A Bright Future for Carlisle Memorial Church

In this series, The Past in the Present, we explore how the historic urban character of a city can be part of a dynamic and continually evolving contemporary society, with an aim to spark debate on the topic of conservation and heritage in our cities and further afield.

Series curated by Ailish Killilea and Anna Skoura.

Carlisle Memorial Church Belfast. (Photo by Belfast Telegraph)
Carlisle Memorial Church has featured on our blog series before as one of three buildings in Northern Ireland on the World Monument Watch List (featured on the list in 2010), and it is now set to continue its lineage with repairs of up to £400,000. 

As featured in the Belfast Telegraph today,Alex Attwood, Environment Minister, pledged £400,000 to restore this iconic Belfast building, situated at Carlisle Circus, North Belfast. 

When making the announcement, Attwood said: “Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church is one of Belfast’s best known listed buildings and is a hugely important landmark at the entrance to West and North Belfast from the city centre.

Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church serves as a sober reminder of the city's architectural legacy and its troubled past. The church was designed in Gothic Revival style by the prominent architect, W. H. Lynn, and opened its doors to the public in 1875. The church that was once home to the largest Methodist congregations in Belfast ceased to be used as a place of worship in 1982, a consequence of the declining congregation and its location at a major interface between Catholic and Protestant populations.

Inside Carlisle Church. (Photo by Archiseek) 
The church has been lying derelict for close to thirty years and has suffered extensive physical degradation as a result. Despite its religious associations, the building is now perceived as neutral territory in a deeply polarized area and holds symbolic potential for North Belfast in particular, and for the city as a whole. This public perception and the church’s interface location lend credence to renewed proposals for the adaptive reuse of this shared heritage resource. Such a project would foster significant civic engagement with stakeholder communities and deepen the successes of the Northern Irish peace process.

Attwood also added: “This funding will help secure its future and, following its conservation and regeneration, will be a great opportunity to both revitalize and provide a significant economic boost for the area. What I and DOE is about, is making Northern Ireland a better place to live, work and invest and this will certainly help to do that."

A spokesman for Belfast Building Preservation Trust said: “Belfast Buildings Preservation Trust is delighted to receive this support from the Department of the Environment. Carlisle Memorial Church was Watch Listed by the World Monuments Fund in 2010 as one of the 100 most endangered historic buildings in the world."

“While it is not economically feasible to save every historic building, it is vital that we do as much as we can to preserve our rich past for future generations. Carlisle memorial is a jewel in our historical crown and after it’s conservation, it will have a great beneficial impact for the economy, tourism and for health and well being", said Minister Attwood.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Planning Reform

Under the reform of local government, 11 new councils will be created. 

Environment Minister Edwin Poots yesterday announced his plans for the reform of local government, which will include reform of the planning system.

"Councils will no longer be consultees," said the minister. "They will be the planning authority - responsible for drawing up their own development plans and making the vast majority of planning decisions."

The proposals will now go to public consultation, with the new powers potentially available from 2012.

Find out more and download the consultation document via the DOE website - click here.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Creativity and innovation to provide the sustainable solutions of tomorrow

Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure Nelson McCausland, with PLACE Chair Bill Morrison and PLACE Director Michael Hegarty, at the Creativity and Housing Conference at Belmont Tower, Wed 10th November. Photo by Robin Cordiner.
Creative collaborations and a focus on sustainability can tackle the economic, social and environmental challenges facing Northern Ireland.

This was the message delivered by the Culture Minister Nelson McCausland and the Environment Minister Edwin Poots at the launch of a conference series on Creativity and Innovation in the Northern Ireland Construction Industry.

Speaking at the event, Minister McCausland said: “The key priority for government in Northern Ireland is to rebuild and rebalance the economy in a way that promotes sustainable economic growth.

“Creativity involves the generation of new ideas and new ways of doing things. Innovation is the successful exploitation of these new ideas. Collaborations and partnerships between business, government and academia can spark the creative ideas that lead to innovative solutions to challenges facing the construction industry and indeed those facing Northern Ireland”.

The conference series has been organised by PLACE, Northern Ireland’s Architecture and Built Environment Centre, to stimulate creative thinking and innovative solutions to the challenges faced by the region’s construction industry.

Minister Poots said: "I believe that creativity and innovation are at the heart of sustainable development. I am committed to building solutions that support sustainable development, and am eager to promote innovation and creativity, particularly in the design of new housing where this will allow individuals to reduce their carbon footprint, and collectively, assist in meeting Northern Ireland's targets for carbon reduction".

Architect and Director of PLACE, Michael Hegarty said: "We are delighted that DCAL are supporting creativity and innovation in the Northern Ireland Economy. Architects and others in the construction industry have been among the hardest hit in the recession and the commitment from Government to support innovative design and sustainability is very welcome. The growth of the private sector in Northern Ireland will require fresh thinking based on our established economic base and architects and the construction industry generally are rising to that challenge."


- "Creativity and Innovation in the Northern Ireland Construction Industry" is a series of three conferences organised by PLACE with support from DCAL

- Each conference deals with a different theme: Creativity and Housing (10th Nov), Construction Material Innovation and Creative Industry Innovation

- The series continues in the new year