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Showing posts with label Public Space. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Public Space. Show all posts

Monday, 24 October 2016

StreetSpace - Mapping Castle Street Workshop


 You are invited to the workshop: ‘Mapping Castle Street: an interdisciplinary workshop about the character of the street’, in PLACE on November 17-18, 2016.



Streets are scenes of conflict. They are contested public spaces where fundamentally different people can meet. Architects, planners, designers and policy makers have designed, managed and controlled the way streets are used, occupied and transited. Academics have raised awareness of the value of streets that are diverse, vibrant and inclusive, while urban policy focuses on the commercial value of city streets, and urban designers in their aesthetic and formal qualities. 

But what makes a good street? Is it the boundaries and thresholds created by buildings binding it? Is it the use of those buildings? Or is it the street’s identity, history and memory?

We will develop a series of layers of analysis including but not limited to: mapping, drawings, diagrams, photographs, interviews, archive work, soundscapes, and more.

We are not looking for a universal solution to the use, design and management of streets, but a culturally specific array of possibilities that our streets could potentially have. 

Castle Street is an ideal case study to consider, for it is in the core of the city, it connects very different areas, and above all it is loaded with meaning and potential.

We invite students, academics and professionals of architecture, planning, anthropology, sociology, history, psychology, film, media, arts and any other disciplines interested in the analysis of public space.

Join us for two days of exploration!

The workshop is free of charge.

Location: PLACE,  7-9 Lower Garfield Street. Belfast
Date: Thursday 17 and Friday 18 November 2016, 10am - 5pm

Please RSVP Agustina Martire to confirm your attendance before November 16th. [email protected]

Facebook event: Check for updates on presentations and participants.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

StreetSpace Reading Group, QUB


Streets are scenes of conflict. They are contested public spaces where fundamentally different people can meet. Architects, planners, designers and policy makers have designed, managed and controlled the way streets are used, occupied and transited. Academics have raised awareness of the value of streets that are diverse, vibrant and inclusive, while urban policy has many times focused on the commercial value of city streets, and urban design practice focuses on the formal and aesthetic principles that constitute a good street.

But what makes a good street? Is it the boundaries and thresholds created by buildings binding it? Is it the programme and use of those buildings? Or is it the street’s identity, history and memory? How different is a street defined by one single block building, from a succession of diverse plot sized buildings? Do these physical elements affect the use and perception of the street?

This reading group will explore different approaches to the analysis of streets as public spaces. We invite students, academics and professionals of architecture, planning, anthropology, sociology, history, psychology, film, media, arts and any other disciplines interested in the analysis of public space.

Location: Training room 6 - The Graduate School - Queen’s University Belfast
Dates: Thursdays 12.30pm
13 October / 3 November / 8 December

First Reading: Appleyard, D., Gerson, M. S., & Lintell, M. (1981). Livable streets. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Please RSVP Agustina Martire to confirm your attendance. [email protected]
Please bring your own lunch and coffee.
Facebook event:
Link to first text:

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Street Space - Redefining the analysis of streets as public spaces for their critical transformation

Lecturer in Architecture at QUB, Dr Agustina Martire, invites you to join a new reading group exploring streets as key elements of urban space. 

Streets are in essence public spaces and connect diverse areas of the city, weaving the urban fabric. How do we analyse street space? How do we communicate this analysis? Can we use a language that different disciplines will understand? How can we use these methods to change/improve street spaces?

This reading group will explore different approaches to the analysis of streets as public spaces. We invite students, academics and professionals of architecture, planning, anthropology, sociology, history, psychology, film, media, arts and any other discipline interested in the analysis of public space.

The reading group will take place in 15 Chlorine Gardens. The next three meetings will be on October 7, November 4 and December 2, from 12:30-4pm. 

If you are interested in participating, please send an email to [email protected]

Monday, 22 June 2015

Mapping North Street - 27 - 28 August 2015

Mapping North Street is an interdisciplinary workshop, taking place in the Old Museum Building, College Square North on 27th & 28th August 2015.

Click to enlarge.

Streets are key elements of urban space; they are in essence public spaces and connect diverse areas of the city, weaving the urban fabric. Our understanding of cities has grown in complexity in the last half century. How do we analyse street space? How do we communicate this analysis? Can we use a language that different disciplines will understand? How can we use these methods to change / improve street spaces?

This workshop will explore different approaches to the analysis of streets as public spaces. We invite students, academics and professionals of architecture, planning, anthropology, sociology, history, psychology, film, media, arts and any other discipline interested in the analysis of public space.

Participants will develop a series of layers of analysis including but not limited to: mapping, drawings, diagrams, photographs, interviews, archive work, soundscapes and more.

A universal solution is not sought for the use, design and management of streets, but a culturally specific array of possibilities that our streets could potentially have. North Street is an ideal case study to consider, for it is in the core of the city, it connects very different areas, and above all it is loaded with meaning and potential.

Join two days of exploration!

The workshop is free of charge. More details will be published in August.

Please RSVP before August 20 to Dr Agustina Martire - [email protected]

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Virtual Uprisings: Tahrir Square, Social Media and the return of Public Space - Wed 6 May 2015, 2.30pm

The School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering (SPACE) and Spaces of Liberation Project at Queen’s University Belfast would like to invite you to a public talk by Professor Nezar AlSayyad.

Professor AlSayyad’s talk is titled: “Virtual Uprisings: Tahrir Square, Social Media and the return of Public Space”. He will share his views on the practices and dynamics of social movements in public space over the past few years including latest developments on the protests in Hong Kong and the US and the political unrest in the Middle East, the rise of Islamist ideology of insurgency and the manner with which public space is accustomed to a profound and radical change in the Twenty First century.

Tahrir Square

Professor Nezar AlSayyad is a distinguished Professor of Architecture, Planning and Urban History at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the Chair of UC-Berkeley’s Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, Former Head of International and Area Studies Graduate Programme, the co-founder and president of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments.

Professor AlSayyad is the Editor of the highly acclaimed Journal of Traditional Dwellings and Settlement Review. He received several high profile awards including Guggenheim Fellowship (2014) and UC Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award (2008). He is the author and editor of over 15 books and two documentaries, including: “Traditions: The ‘Real’, the Hyper and the Virtual in the Built Environment” (2014), “Cairo: Histories of a City” (2011), “The Fundamentalist City?” (2010), “Cinematic Urbanism” (2006), “Making Cairo Medieval” (2005), “The End of Tradition” (2003), “Urban Informality” (2003)Muslim Europe or Euro-Islam” (2002), “Consuming Tradition, Manufacturing Heritage” (2001), and “Hybrid Urbanism” (2000).

The talk is hosted by “Spaces of Liberation” Project based at The School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering (SPACE) and Co-sponsored by Architecture and Construction Management Research Cluster (ACM), Institute of Spatial and Environmental Planning (ISEP), and the Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities (ICRH).

For further information visit www.spacesofliberation.org.uk, or visit the Facebook pag at  www.facebook.com/Spacesofliberation?ref=hl.


Date: Wednesday 6 May 2015
Time: 2.30pm - 4pm
Venue: Canada Room, Lanyon Building, Queen’s University, Belfast
Cost: Free
Booking: Email [email protected]

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Belfast: Streets Ahead Phase 3 Consultation Event - Wed 18 March, 6pm - 9pm

The Department for Social Development are hosting a public consultation event on Wednesday 18th March 2015 in PLACE, Lower Garfield Street, Belfast. 

The purpose of the event is to inform the local community about the Belfast Streets Ahead Phase 3 project. The overall aim of the Phase 3 project is to design and implement public realm improvements (such as new paving, lighting, landscaping, street furniture and public artwork) that will deliver high quality streetscape and open spaces that will contribute positively to the economic and social vitality of the Belfast City Centre and will complement the Ulster University’s planned development of its new campus at York Street.

Draft proposals. Credit: www.dsdni.gov.uk

The Phase 3 project area will cover:
  • Royal Avenue (from Castle Place to Donegall Street),
  • York Street (from Donegall Street to Frederick Street/Great Patrick Street junction),
  • Frederick Street,
  • Library Square (Union Street, Little Donegall Street and Library Street),
  • Cathedral Gardens (aka Buoys Park),
  • the area around St Anne’s Cathedral (Talbot Street, Exchange Street West and Academy Street, including Donegall Street in front of St Anne’s Cathedral),
  • Great Patrick Street (part),
  • Curtis Street
  • York Lane
The consultation event will take place between 6pm and 9pm on Wednesday 18th March in PLACE, with a short presentation commencing at 7pm.

There will be an opportunity before and after the presentation to ask questions and get more information about the project. Further information on the Phase 3 project can be viewed on the DSD website. Comments on the proposals can be made at the event, by email to DSD at [email protected] or by writing to: DSD, 4th Floor, Oxford House, 49-55 Chichester Street, Belfast, BT1 4HH by 31st March 2015.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Broadway to Belfast. A View on Creating New Public Space in the City

Saul Golden, PLACE Board Member & Lecturer in Architecture, University of Ulster

On a recent visit to New York I noted how the City continues to change and improve it’s public spaces with parks that include street markets, children’s play areas, changing art installations and more pedestrian friendly additions to the public realm - in a city where personal and service vehicles are also an integral part of daily life. These make more family, city-worker and tourist friendly places while helping accommodate different levels of economy - from the local street vendors to sidewalk café and local shops, as well as larger chains.

Public art installations and local street vendors. Credit: Saul Golden.

One example of the city’s more flexible approach to creating new public space is a ‘simple’ extension of the sidewalk (footpath) along lower Broadway at 18th Street near Union Square, which ‘gives back’ an area of a busy street for people to use rather than vehicles. 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Library Square, Belfast Public Realm Consultation

The Department for Social Development, Benoy, Peter Brett Associates and Drivers Jonas Deloitte have developed a public realm scheme over the past six months with key stakeholders for Library Square, Belfast. 

The space is located at the junction of Library Street and Royal Avenue near Central Library and the University of Ulster. With proximity to these civic buildings in mind the designers intends to reflect a communications and learning theme. The team intend to promote the use of media and social connectivity by providing public access to wireless internet and installing a media wall to the side of Central Library. 

Library Square Public Realm Scheme. Credit: DSD.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Photography competition


This is the place
Photography from the ground up

Are you aged between 16-25 and interested in photography?


somewhereto_NI, in association with PLACE and Belfast Exposed are delighted to announce a unique photography competition that invites young people to show us their local places as they see them.


We are all familiar with images that show the important monuments and landmarks of our built environment. Other, less remarkable features of the places we live also have important significance in our daily lives - the bus stop closest to our house, the park bench we go to on our breaks, a piece of graffiti we pass every morning.

This is the place: Photography from the ground up invites submissions that capture your personal relationship to the spaces in which you live, work and socialise.

As well as exciting prizes for the overall winner and two runners-up, 10 finalists will have their entries featured in a limited edition publication. Selected entrants will also have the opportunity to be part of an upcoming exhibition to be held in Derry-Londonderry later in 2012.

No experience is necessary to apply, and we encourage submissions that take advantage of the variety and accessibility of photographic devices, such as camera phones, photo apps, and both digital and analogue formats.

Give us your best shot!

The deadline for submissions is 5pm on 10th November 2012
All entries are subject to the competition terms and conditions.


Submit an image >>

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Connecting Places: Why occupy Writer's Square?

In this new series, Connecting Places, we explore the spaces, places and sustainable transport systems in Belfast and beyond, with an aim to generate critical debate on the design of our towns and cities.

Series curated by Aaron Coulter




Writer's Square - Belfast's Best Public Space? From Bing Maps - edited by Aaron Coulter.

At 1370m² Writer's Square is one of the largest public spaces in Belfast's city centre and plays host to a variety of festivals and one off events throughout the year. The square was completed in 2002 by the Laganside Corporation. Then Chief Executive Mike Smith said:
"The new public space will be an important environmental asset to the area, creating somewhere pleasant to walk and relax... literary inscriptions will ensure that Writer's Square is welcomed as somewhere to enjoy, and a place to gather inspiration rather than pass through." - Mike Smith, BBC News website, January 2002
Despite these intentions, the square is widely regarded one of the most poorly designed spaces in Belfast and for the majority of the year, when there is not a specially curated programme of events, Writer's Square is a largely derelict and windswept space and 'passing through' it is often a last resort.

So why have the Occupy Belfast movement set up camp here?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Culture Night "pocket park" highlights lack of quality public space in Belfast

Press release: 21.09.2011
Culture Night "pocket park" highlights lack of quality public space in Belfast

Inspired by the international Park(ing) Day, PLACE Architecture Centre will create a unique ‘Pocket Park’ in the City Centre on Culture Night, Friday 23rd September. For one night only, a number of parking spaces on Waring Street in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter will be transformed into an interactive, exciting new space. By building a pocket park (a mini green space in an urban area) the project team aims to highlight the current lack of quality open space within Belfast City Centre.

Space usage in Belfast City Centre (PLACE estimate)

The project is being run by a small team of young architects and planners. "We want to bring Belfast back from a vehicular scale to a human scale", says Aaron Coulter, an Urban Design student and intern at PLACE. "We are reclaiming space normally dedicated to the car and creatively transforming it into a small public park and activity space. We'll have interactive games, places to relax, green space and more in Belfast's new public space for the evening”.

Participants on Culture Night will be brought on a journey through the new park space and asked for their thoughts on public space in the city at the end.

The Pocket Park is being developed as part of somewhereto_, a nationwide project inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, aimed at finding spaces for young people aged 16-25 do the things they love. somewhereto_ is funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to help build a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games across the UK.

***

Notes to editors:
- The park will be active on Waring Street in Belfast on Culture Night from 4pm-8pm
- PLACE is the Architecture and Built Environment Centre for Northern Ireland
- PLACE was established in 2004

somewhereto_ (www.somewhereto.com)
- Inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, somewhereto_ is a nationwide project to help young people find the space they need to do the things they love, within sport, culture and the arts.
- All young people need somewhereto_ do the things they love. The project is here to help those who don’t have the space or place. By opening up spaces and connecting young people with local space-holders, via our website, regional coordinators, competitions, events and more.
- somewhereto_ is run by Livity, a youth engagement agency, in media partnership
with Channel 4 Education and funded by Legacy Trust UK.

Legacy Trust UK (www.legacytrustuk.org)
- Legacy Trust UK is an independent charity whose mission is to support a wide range of innovative cultural and sporting activities which celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and which will leave a lasting legacy in communities throughout the UK.
- Legacy Trust UK is funded by a £40 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund (£29m), Department for Culture Media and Sport (£6m) and Arts Council England (£5m), and is a Principal Funder of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Better Public Spaces?

By Michael Hegarty
Director, PLACE

In Northern Ireland there are a wide variety of Government Departments, public agencies, private companies and NGOʼs that have roles in creating our environment. We have a fragmented government. Until recently agencies acted in isolation to deliver only their own component of cities: housing (NI Housing Executive); roads (Department for Regional Development); urban regeneration (Department for Social Development); and planning (Department of Environment).  Over the last few decades of conflict a very direct relationship between local communities and their elected representatives has developed. Communities drive issues such as places for play, neighbourhood regeneration and so on. Northern Ireland politicians have now taken back control of decision-making from London and by and large these politicians recognise the problems of disconnection.

Portaloos block the access to Custom House Square. Photo by Michael Hegarty.
Northern Ireland has some very good buildings for education, leisure, art and drama, but many aspects of our cities do not perform well under scrutiny and they impact on our general health and well-being as citizens.  Post conflict Northern Ireland society has changed; complexity has replaced simplicity.   It is time once again to repair and renew our cities.  The lesson of the past is that this should not be a grand gesture. What is needed is a series of small acts of intuitive appropriate design. Every act of building should be an act of repair, a part of the much larger process, in which several acts together regenerate the whole city.

Temporary steel panels at Custom House Square. Photo by Michael Hegarty,
Since 2001 DSD and Belfast City Council have developed a number of cultural quarters. The Cathedral Quarter has taken on the mantle of the city's key cultural locality.  It is somewhat disconnected from the recently resurfaced Custom House Square and the river Lagan by 4-lane roads.   Custom House Square should be the main event space for Cathedral Quarter however the basic infrastructure for events such as toilets and event management barriers were not designed into the scheme.

Today on the square public access is blocked by rows of temporary chemical toilets (portaloos) and galvanised steel panel hoardings inserted on rubber feet.  This is evidence of a lack of understanding of the nature of a public space by those who commissioned the recent work.  Public spaces host public events, these are events are for people, people need toilets, safe access and other services. Many of the events require power or on-site catering.  The infrastructure for these should have been designed-in.  If architects designed schools or offices without toilets and supplied portaloos as an afterthought they would rightly be ridiculed.  The lessons of this should inform the briefing of other public spaces currently being conceived such as Queens Parade, Bangor and Ebrington, Derry.

We have compact, legible and easily-walked city centres in Belfast and Derry. Belfast is surrounded by mountains that create a special micro-climate conducive to horticulture. From the Botanic Gardens to Cave Hill Country Park, Belfast has over forty public parks, all in close proximity to the city centre that provide places for a picnic, a stroll or a jog. New foot bridges are being constructed throughout Northern Ireland along a series of cycle and footpaths designed to encourage more people to exercise. These are positive starting points for making things work better.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

From Conflict to Reconstruction

PLACE and The West Belfast Partnership are holding a feedback consultation session discussing the Andersonstown barracks site, on Monday 2nd August at 6pm in The Glenowen Inn on the Glen Road. Come along and get involved! Visit http://www.expowestbelfast.com/?p=90 for more details.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The debate goes on...


Above: Rendering of the Magic Jug in situ; via Belfast Streets Ahead


On this morning's Good Morning Ulster, the debate on the Magic Jug continued...

You can listen to the piece on the BBC iPlayer here - it starts at around 1 hr 52 mins.

Some of the main arguments are outlined below...

"It's not going to resonate with people, because it's not designed by someone who understands the people of Belfast. What makes great art? Why should it go here? There was no debate." (Will Chamberlain)

"We need a bit more transparency in how public money is spent. We don't want to be just given public art and told why it's good for us." (Daniel Jewesbury)

"Everything like that brightens the place up and makes it nice."
"It's like dressing a room."
"I think the worst people to ask are the experts in the field of architecture and art."
"I think the public are the ones who should decide because they're the ones who are going to be paying for it." (Public on Fountain Street)

"The whole concept of the city means discussion, and it means that it has to be held in a very open forum. We can't have people behind closed doors making decisions that don't engage with the people. It goes right back to the ancient idea of a city, and it has a lot to say about how you then put art in a city as well." (Mark Hackett)

"The response that we got around the city centre was extremely positive. I think what you are hearing is a small bunch of "experts" who are getting into a debate about the merits of what is art, which is not reflective of the debate you hear on the streets and which your reporter picked up. And that's a debate which very much welcomes this investment. From a town centre manager's perspective, a lot of my colleagues in other cities would be delighted that a government department was making this sort of investment. I think some existential debate about what is art is not particularly helpful... Not only are we doing this dressing exercise and giving ourselves something that looks very attractive, actually it has a physical purpose of connecting areas, drawing lines of sight and helping people move around the city." (Andrew Irvine, BCCM)


More:
- Read the report of the meeting held at PLACE on Monday 26th May
- NO MORE PUBLIC ART IN BELFAST! - Facebook group
- Belfast's Magic Jug? - Slugger O'Toole
- Smash or hug the jug? - Slugger O'Toole

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces



Via kottke.org, a clip from William Whyte's 1988 film The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, which studied New York's plazas and the ways people used them. The narrator wonders whether "we could find out what it was that made the good ones work, and the others not..."

The book is on Amazon.