Showing posts with label FAB. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FAB. Show all posts

Monday, 3 August 2015

Forum for Alternative Belfast (2010 - 2015)

Forum Farewell.
Issued by Forum for Alternative Belfast - July 2015.

Forum for Alternative Belfast has been winding up since January 2015 and recently we have taken the decision to close the organisation.

Since 2010, with the collaboration of many groups and government agencies, the Forum has produced a series of urban re-stitching plans for the city that begin to deal with its longstanding problems of disconnection, particularly access for inner city communities. Over this period, we have demonstrated practical projects for the city, alongside wider analyses and a set of principles for how Belfast can be planned in the future. We have had some successes; however, other Forum projects may remain as illustrations of what could have been. All of this offers cause for reflection and learning.

The trajectory of the city’s development is something we should all be concerned about. With the City Council's new planning powers we urge all those concerned to take a professional and reflective approach that ensures, as a priority, the creation of a fair and balanced city that is connected by walkable, well designed streets. 
 We wish to thank all those who have contributed to the work of the Forum and we hope that our work will continue to influence the shaping of the city.
Our website - - will remain and publications will be made available at the universities; for legacy issues please contact [email protected].

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Forum for Alternative Belfast present Lorry Day: Saturday 6th December, 8pm - 1am

Bring along a lorry. Forum for Alternative Belfast's mark the second anniversary of the raising of a full size lorry 18 metres in the air to show the impact of a potential £130m flyover options at the York Street Interchange. The option was not selected and an underpass option is now being developed. For more information see

The event on 6th December also marks ‘Nicklaus Tag’, a day on which children in many European countries receive gifts. All attending are asked to bring along a lorry - Corgi, Dinki, Wooden or Plastic - all will be donated to The Belfast Childrens Hospice.

Music by Clare Hall and canopies provided by The Dark Horse.

Forum will also provide an update on the York Street Interchange.

Date: Saturday 6 December
Time: 8pm - 1am
Venue: The Dark Horse, Hill Street, Belfast
Admission: £5 (lorry tax)

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:

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Forum for Alternative Belfast | Connect East and Connect West launches Thurs 28 Nov, 4pm, Ulster Hall, Belfast

On Thursday 28th November at 4pm, Belfast's Lord Mayor will launch the two publications developed during the 4th Forum for Alternative Belfast Summer School 2012, titled Connect East and Connect West.

Click to Enlarge

East and West Belfast Partnership Boards approached the Forum for Alternative Belfast to focus on their respective physical disconnections with the City Centre. The subject of 're-stitching the city' through zones shattered by road infrastructure was the main subject of the Summer School in 2012, the outcomes of which are published in two separate poster documents for the East and West of the city.

Connect East includes a framework plan for the road shatter-zone around Bridge End, a plan for the Sirocco site and a city park.

Connect West includes new drawings for the Divis Street proposals around the Westlink and proposals for various linking and housing projects.

All are welcome at the launch upstairs Room 5 in the Ulster Hall from 4pm sharp for a short discussion and the opportunity to pick up copies of the FAB Summer School 2012 publications.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

FAB Summer School 2013 - 'Why Are There No Trees?' | Mon 12 - Fri 16 August

This year’s Forum for Alternative Belfast Summer School considers how the greenways on the edges of the city can connect through the inner and centre city in a coherent way that helps connect city neighbourhoods. The week long study will also draw together all of FAB's previous year's work. 

On Monday morning from 9.30am invited speakers and specialists will succinctly lay out the context.

Two evening review sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, 6pm - 8pm, are open to the public to attend and openly contribute.

The week's findings will be presented publicly on Friday 16th, 4pm - 4.30pm in the City Hall, followed by open discussion that finishes before 5.30pm.

The public can visit the studio work at any time during the week. For full programme details visit

To register for Full Week Attendance (£25 unwaged and students / £50 waged) please email your interest to [email protected].

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Forum for Alternative Belfast present 'Belfast / a method' at Golden Thread Gallery

Golden Thread Gallery invites you to get a bird’s eye view of the city. Belfast/ a method is an exhibition by The Forum for Alternative Belfast, a community interest company that campaigns for a more connected built environment for the city of Belfast and its people.

FAB's City Model.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Belfast / a method | 2 May - 8 June 2013, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast

The Forum for Alternative Belfast presents ‘Belfast - a method’ in the main gallery at Golden Thread Belfast as part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival 2013. The exhibition launches Thursday 2 May, 6 - 9pm. For more information click here.

Click to Enlarge.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Forum for Alternative Belfast seek Volunteers for Model IBBelfast

Forum for Alternative Belfast are seeking people who would like to get involved in the creation of Forum for Alternative Belfast's model of Belfast. In the run up to the Golden Thread exhibition on 2nd May - Belfast/a method - FAB are opening their doors throughout April for you to help with the completion of the model.

For more information on Model IBBelfast and to volunteer visit the facebook page at this link.

Model IBBelfast. Credit: Forum for Alternative Belfast.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Talk: Urban Houses | Mon 28 Jan, 6pm, MBC, Lisburn Rd

Forum for Alternative Belfast present a talk by Jan Kleihues of Kleihues + Kleihues, Berlin on Monday 28th January, 6pm at the Medical Biology Centre, Lisburn Road, Belfast.

Image by Stefan Muller.

Jan Kleihues will talk about his practice and the work of his father Josep Paul Kleihues who was the director of the IBA87neu. The IBA (Internationale Bauausstellung) was a housing exhibition running from 1979 until 1987 and beyond, international architects were invited to build innovative housing that also repaired shattered Berlin.

Prof. Michael McGarry who worked in the office of JP Kleihues during the time of the IBA87 will join the discussion afterwards.

Date: Monday 28th January 2013
Time: 6pm
Location: Medical Biology Centre Teaching Centre, Lecture Theatre 2, Lisburn Road

Event supported by the British Council.

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...

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

York Street Interchange Panel Discussion | Thurs 6 Dec, 11.30am | Ramada Encore Hotel, Belfast

Forum for Alternative Belfast are hosting a Panel Discussion on Thursday 6th December at the Ramada Encore Hotel immediately following the Minister for Regional Developments announcement of the Preferred Option for the York Street Interchange.

The possible option for the York Street Interchange
to be announced Thursday 6th December.

To read about the York Street Interchange proposal and Forum for Alternative Belfast's vision for the project click here for part one of a report by Gary Potter and click here for part two.

"This is an urban design opportunity, not merely a roads project"
Forum for Alternative Belfast

The panel discussion this Thursday 6th December at 11.30am will include Rev Campbell Dixon (St Anne's Cathedral), Patricia Freedman (Cathedral Quarter Steering Group) and John Mc Corry (North Belfast Partnership Board). There will also be representation from the University of Ulster and the local neighbourhood groups and businesses closely affected by the decision.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Job Opportunity | Forum for Alternative Belfast

Forum for Alternative Belfast, are looking for an architect / graduate, part or full time, for a temporary contract to work on a specific project. 

Forum for Alternative Belfast's Missing City Map. 

The project will require good AutoCad 2D and Sketch-up skills. A methodical approach and a love of accuracy will be needed. Short term contract, flexibility on hours possible.

To apply send your CV to [email protected]

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

North Belfast: New Planning Potentials? | Wed 10 Oct, 9am - 2pm

North Belfast: New Planning Potentials is a workshop-led discussion among community and statutory stakeholders regarding how the future of North Belfast can be planned.

Map produced by Forum for Alternative Belfast.

Students of Queen’s University School of Planning, Architecture & Civil Engineering have been conducting extensive spatial analysis of North Belfast as the first part of a 3 year research project, titled Planning for Spatial Reconciliation.

The event will present the students’ outputs in order to provoke a frank and open discussion about how the issues facing North Belfast can be addressed by the new planning processes being introduced in April 2015.

Event Details:

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.

Friday, 16 March 2012

North Belfast: A Vision - Friday 16th March 4pm

Following a week of intensive work during the PLACEwinterschool the Forum for Alternative Belfast will gather and present a vision for stitching inner North Belfast back together.

Don't miss this opportunity if you have an interest in North Belfast. Issues addressed include Royal Exchange, University of Ulster Development, Girdwood, Crumlin Gaol, Crumlin Courthouse, Housing, Streets and Public Space.

Friday 16th March 4pm (Indian Community Centre, Clifton Street)

For more information and to find the Indian Community Centre visit:

Monday, 12 March 2012

Forum for Alternative Belfast chosen to take part in Venice 2012

Venice Takeaway is the project for the British Pavillion at Venice 2012.

Belfast will have a presence at the 13th Venice Biennale for Architecture, it was announced today. The Forum for Alternative Belfast will travel to Germany as part of the Venice Takeaway project at the British Pavilion.

Venice Takeaway: Ideas to Change British Architecture

The British Council today announced names of the teams and individuals who will undertake explorations around the world to gather material for the British Pavilion at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale.

The Venice Takeaway brief was circulated widely during January and by 28 February the British Council had received 118 proposals.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

PLACEwinterschool: 12 - 16 March 2012

The Indian Community Centre, Clifton Street, Belfast 

PLACEwinterschool is an intensive week long event facilitated by Forum for Alternative Belfast focusing on the area and on current and proposed urban projects around the 'Cultural Corridor'. The Corridor extends from the Cathedral Quarter at Donegall Street, up Clifton Street and on to the Crumlin Road Courthouse and Jail and the Carnegie Library on the Oldpark Road. 

Nearly £1 billion of public and private investment will be spent in the area in the next ten years. It is vital that this spending delivers the maximum benefit to Belfast, to the local communities and to the re-making of good streets, in what is one of the most fragmented areas of Belfast. 

We are looking for 
  • Key people from the community, business, government departments, non government agencies, cultural organisations, Belfast City Council and other Councils who will join at different times during the week. 
  • Architecture, Planning, Urban Design and Landscape professionals / students to sign up for the week to develop concept ideas through model making and visualisation (registration necessary). 
  • Many events are open to the public and we encourage people to drop in and see what we are doing. Come to the free Corridor events. 
  • Key note addresses open to the public will be given on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th March at 6pm. 

During the week cultural events will take place in and around landmark buildings along the Corridor.

Register your interest at this link.

For more information visit or search #placews on Twitter.

Monday, 5 March 2012

FAB Summer School 2011 Results - 8 March 2012

The results from the 2011 Forum for Alternative Belfast Summer School will be published 11am Thursday 8th March at the Crescent Arts Centre.

The Forum for Alternative Belfast held its third summer school in August 2011 in collaboration with the South Belfast Partnership Board. The study area for the week was inner south Belfast and its connection to the city centre. The Summer School successfully demonstrated how the proposed Bankmore Link dual lane road could be re-imagined as two tree lined, active streets. To read a summary of the 2011 Summer School week on the PLACE Blog by Gary Potter click here.

Thursday 8th March, 11am, Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast.

Friday, 3 February 2012

FAB Intern Lab

The Forum for Alternative Belfast are seeking 5 interns to help deliver their projects in the city.

"We intend that for four weeks there will be paid work to assist in a proposed winter school in mid March. As opportunities arise we would propose that other work could be paid on a project basis."

Closing date Monday 13th Feb. Click the flyer below to enlarge (flyer updated 8th Feb).

Tuesday, 15 November 2011