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Showing posts with label Urban design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Urban design. Show all posts

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Cohousing Potential in Northern Ireland | Wednesday 28 October, 7-9pm

The UK’s leading expert on Cohousing, Stephen Hill (Chair UK Cohousing Network), is visiting Belfast on Wed 28th Oct and will be discussing NI’s potential for Cohousing.

WHAT IS COHOUSING?
Cohousing is a type of intentional, collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their neighbourhoods. Cohousing provides the privacy we are accustomed to within the community we seek.
Source: http://www.white-design.com/consultancy/bristol-co-housing/


Saturday, 16 March 2013

Europan 12 Competition Launches March 18th

Europan 12 launches on 18th March 2013 with 16 participating countries. Europan is a call for projects of ideas at the urban and architectural scale, followed by implementations. It is directed at young professionals of architecture and urban design under 40 years of age and with a European degree or working in Europe.

A series of urban sites across Europe, with programme briefs, are proposed to competitors who then chose the site(s) on which they wish to submit their proposal(s).

Europan 12. www.europan-europe.eu.

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.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

PLACE Urban Design Summer School Day Four | Urban Design & Building Visits

The PLACE Urban Design Summer School is a week long event for 14 - 20 years olds to explore architecture, design, public art, sketching, photography, urban history and more! The week offers the 27 young people registered a chance to learn about the built environment through exciting workshops, fascinating tours and more!

The Summer School is a part of 'out of PLACE' in Ireland's tallest building, The Obel. With support from Karl Group and McConnell Property PLACE are occupying the ground floor with fantastic views over-looking the River Lagan until September. Out of PLACE will also host the 'Secret Laboratories' exhibition and the 'RSUA President's Medal: The Shortlist' exhibition.

Let's see what everyone got up to on day four with a particular focus on Urban Design and some exciting Building Visits...

Thursday, 9 August 2012

PLACE Urban Design Summer School Day One | Public Art

The PLACE Urban Design Summer School is a week long event for 14 - 20 years olds to explore architecture, design, public art, sketching, photography, urban history and more! The week offers the 27 young people registered a chance to learn about the built environment through exciting workshops, fascinating tours and more!

The Summer School is a part of 'out of PLACE' in Ireland's tallest building, The Obel. With support from Karl Group and McConnell Property PLACE are occupying the ground floor with fantastic views over-looking the River Lagan until September. Out of PLACE will also host the 'Secret Laboratories' exhibition and the 'RSUA President's Medal: The Shortlist' exhibition.

Let's see what everyone got up to on day one with a particular focus on Public Art...



Wednesday, 30 May 2012

An Urban Feast at the Belfast Film Festival




Let me introduce myself, I'm Ailish Killilea, an urban designer who has been experiencing the benefits of PLACE through volunteer work for over the last year.


What has excited me most recently are the up and coming films PLACE has selected for the Belfast Film Festival over the next couple of weeks - films which I have been helping to curate.


First to take the screen will be Urbanized at the MAC theatre this Thursday 31st May at 7pm. Urbanized is a review of how urban design practice is responding to global forces driving city development. Commentary from Ricky Burdett explores the largely accelerating complexities of human circumstances that is unfolding within our lifetime. Opening introduction will be given by Mark Hackett, director of Forum for Alternative Belfast and designer of the MAC theatre.


Next to follow is The Pruitt-Igoe Myth at the the BFF Beanbag Cinema this Saturday. A story based on the decline of the city in St. Louis, Missouri after World War II. The film looks at the rapid downfall of the city, how the appeal for suburbanisation, an escape left cities idol to mischief hands. The Pruitt- Igoe Myth seeks to set the record straight, to examine the interests in Pruitt- Igoe’s creation, the rumours and the stigma, to implode the myth. Declan Hill, director of Forum for Alternative Belfast will set the scene for the film with an opening introduction.


To finish, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces will be shown in the appropriate outdoor setting of Commercial Court, behind The Dark Horse. This film is based on the studies of William "Holly" Whyte, Urbanist and Journalist. Through time-lapse observation of how people interact with one another and with public areas, the film shows surprising revelations on how people actually use the urban landscape - like people watching, but on a whole new level. A great film to experience in these settings, perhaps completing your evening of Late Night Art in Belfast on the 7th.


These films are an urban feast and a wonderful contribution to the diverse programme of the Belfast Film Festival. 


See you at the popcorn stand.  


Urbanized Film Trailer

Urbanized, Thursday 31st May 2012, 7pm, MAC.
Tickets £6.50




The Pruitt-Igoe Myth Film Trailer

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, Saturday 2nd June 2012, 5pm, BFF Beanbag Cinema.
Tickets £5


Film Clip from The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, Thursday 7th June 2012, 9:30 pm, Commercial Court.
Tickets £2

Tickets available online and at The Belfast Film Festival box office.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Connecting Places Mini Series: Bicycling Belfast: Part 4: Beyond Commuting - Active Travel and Local Economies

In this 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 

For previous posts from this series click here


Part 4: Beyond Commuting - Active Travel and Local Economies



Active Travel and Local Economies
(Credit: Aaron Coulter)
Naturally, a lot of focus throughout this week has been placed on bicycle access to Belfast City Centre. One reason for this is the fact that most of the statistical information gathered regards commuting and 19.5% of all trips taken in Northern Ireland, by all modes, are to get to work (TSNI, P23, 2008-2010).


However, a significant percentage of journeys are also made for shopping (20.1%) and Leisure (22.5%) (TSNI, P23, 2008-2010). Tackling these trips, as well as the more obvious commuting trips, could be a highly beneficial strategy for our ailing local centres in Belfast.


In this penultimate post of Bicycling Belfast, we will investigate the potential regenerative effect of improving levels of access for both the bicycle and pedestrian to our local centres.


Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Connecting Places Mini Series: Bicycling Belfast: Part 3: Belfast - a bicycle city in the making?

In this 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 

For previous posts from this series click here

Part 3: Belfast - A cycling city in the making?
‘Belfast is a city for cyclists; it has all the advantages of cycling in Amsterdam but without the swarms of other bicycles. This Victorian city, steeped in culture and industrial heritage, is just waiting to be discovered by bike.' 
Source: Go to Belfast 

In part 3 of Bicycling Belfast we will be investigating the city’s current cycling infrastructure to find out how close to reality this statement is. Is Belfast really a city for cyclists, or is the comparison to Amsterdam just a bit too far fetched?

Belfast - a city for cyclists?
(Credit: Aaron Coulter)

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Connecting Places Mini Series: Bicycling Belfast: Part 2: An International Perspective

In this 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

For previous posts from this series click here 

Part 2: An International Perspective

Broadly speaking, cycling cities can be split into two categories - ‘traditional’ cycling cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam and then those who have recently taken up the challenge to improve cycling conditions such as New York, London and Dublin (among many others). In this article we will be asking ‘What can Belfast learn from these cities?’

Copenhagen
(Credit: Blue Granola)

Monday, 27 February 2012

Connecting Places Mini Series: Bicycling Belfast: Part 1: Debunking the Myth

In this 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

For background info on Bicycling Belfast click here.

Part 1: Debunking the Myth
“As a result of varying levels of congestion, topography and land-use, a blanket citywide approach to providing a cycle network is unlikely to be appropriate in Belfast.” 
Bicycling Belfast
(Credit: Aaron Coulter)
In a country where 65% of all trips taken are under 5 miles in distance, and in a city where up to 70% of inhabitants in some inner city areas do not have access to a car, can we really say that cycling should have no significant future in Belfast? What if we take an more analytical approach to the somewhat subjective claims put forward by DRD? Does Belfast have what it takes to become a ‘cycling city’, or are there too many obstacles in the way? 


Friday, 24 February 2012

Connecting Places Mini Series: Bicycling Belfast

In this 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

Bicycling Belfast: Prelude



Cycling accounts for 0.6% of trips in NI
(Credit: Aaron Coulter)


In recent years there has been a renewed interest from major cities throughout the world in diversifying transportation choices in an effort to reduce dependancy on the private car and improve quality of life for their citizens. These initiatives are often characterised with a rebalancing of capital expenditure priorities in order to accommodate higher levels of spending on more sustainable forms of transport, including walking, cycling, and public transit schemes.

However, despite over a decade of policy initiatives aimed at reducing car dependency in Northern Ireland, transport budgets here are still overwhelmingly in favour of the private car. In 2010 the then Minister for Regional Development, Conor Murphy, not only dedicated 62% of the overall transport budget to the car, a total of £250,000,000, but also cut Belfast’s cycling budget by 98% to £8,000 (Belfast Telegraph). Given this, it is unsurprising that Belfast is currently rated the 3rd most congested city in the United Kingdom and ranks within the top ten most congested cities in Europe.

It is in within this context, and as part of an ongoing process of generating debate on sustainable transport in Northern Ireland through the Connecting Places series, that throughout next week a mini series titled ‘Bicycling Belfast’ will investigate the potential of increasing cycling’s modal share in the city.

Join us next week on the PLACE blog and follow the conversation with Aaron on Twitter #bicyclingbelfast

Friday, 10 February 2012

somewhereto_ Share your Vision: A Retrospective

A piece of student work that featured in the presentation.
Last Saturday PLACE held its first student participation event called Share your Vision. The day began with some light refreshments and a brief presentation by some of the PLACE interns and volunteers (Anna Skoura, Gary Potter & Ailish Killilea), giving some insight into the workings of PLACE and some of their own work.

Students participating discussed some of their own projects and interests in the built environment and design. Also present was Mr. Arthur Acheson, of Boyd Partnership and Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Group, who encouraged debate on design and addressed design concerns in Belfast and Northern Ireland. This informal debate led to some interesting thinking and many intriguing discussions.

Share your Vision aims to:
  • provide a platform where student projects can be viewed by the wider public
  • promote discussion about the built environment
  • to offer the PLACE Blog as an outlet for new ideas

Due to the success of the event and PLACE's desire to encourage student discussion on architecture and the built environment, there will be another Share your Vision event coming soon...watch this space.

***

PLACE is the Northern Ireland Regional Coordinator for somewhereto_, a nationwide project to help young people find the space they need to do the things they love within sport, culture and the arts. Run by Livity, in partnership with Channel 4, the project 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.

Do you need somewhereto_ do the things you love? Get in touch with us...

Tweet us: @somewhereto_NI
Phone: 028 9023 2524

Thursday, 26 January 2012

somewhereto_ Share your Vision

Lord Kitchener by Alfred Leete, image by Anna Skoura, poster by Ailish Killilea.

CALLING ALL STUDENTS! PLACE needs YOU to Share your Vision.

Is there a topic or project you think people should know about? Something within the built environment realm you feel passionate about? Then you should think about our student participation, somewhereto_Share your Vision, event being held at 12:00 on Saturday 4th of February at PLACE.

This is an opportunity for students to share their vision for the future of architecture and design. Whether it's a project you have worked on or a certain built environment topic you would like to discuss, we would encourage you to take part.

Come along and get to know some of the interns and volunteers at PLACE. Bring along any materials you think may illustrate your chosen subject. Refreshments provided.

If you are interested please RSVP Ailish on [email protected]

When?: 12:00pm, Saturday February 4th.
Where?: PLACE, 40 Fountain Street, Belfast. BT1 5EE.

***

PLACE is the Northern Ireland Regional Coordinator for somewhereto_, a nationwide project to help young people find the space they need to do the things they love within sport, culture and the arts. Run by Livity, in partnership with Channel 4, the project 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.

Do you need somewhereto_ do the things you love? Get in touch with us...

Tweet us: @somewhereto_NI
Phone: 028 9023 2524

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Owen Hatherley presents film screening and lecture in Belfast


Click the flyer to enlarge.

Architecture, urbanism and politics writer Owen Hatherley visits Belfast on Sun 22nd and Mon 23rd January for a film screening at QFT and a free lecture at University of Ulster.

The Dilapidated Dwelling (dir. Patrick Keiller, 2000, 78 min)
Selected and introduced by Owen Hatherley
Queen’s Film Theatre, Sun 22 Jan, 3.30pm
£6.20 (£5.70 online) / £5 unwaged / £4 full-time students & children

Owen Hatherley is a regular contributor to the New Statesman, the Guardian and Building Design, writing on architecture, urbanism, the culture of politics and the politics of culture. His latest book, A Guide To The New Ruins of Great Britain, was published to critical acclaim by Verso in 2010. Owen joins us to introduce and discuss Patrick Keiller's experimental documentary The Dilapidated Dwelling

The Dilapidated Dwelling investigates its subject from an extraordinary number of different angles: archive footage, interviews, statistics, humour, accident, even a quiet love story. An unnamed narrator (Tilda Swinton) returns to England after twenty years spent in the Arctic. Her employer commissions her to investigate 'the predicament of the house in the UK'. She falls in love in a supermarket, and settles down with her partner in an Edwardian house on the outskirts of a university town to pursue her research.

She discovers that at the UK’s current rate of house-building, every home currently standing will have to last for 5,600 years, and that the cost of housing in real terms has doubled since the 1930s. She wonders why, when the digital economy is transforming both work and leisure, and mass-production has made consumer items many times cheaper, homes are still built poorly, slowly and expensively.

She discovers archive footage of numerous approaches to utopian architecture, from around the world. She interviews architects, economists and others, who suggest that the housing market protects itself against mass production, and wonder whether modern capitalism is incapable of adequately providing for domestic life. 

The narrator reluctantly comes to the conclusion that the UK is simply incapable of improving its housing stock or applying modern methods to the production of homes, and that the houses of the future will be the ones we already live in.

Despite the use of more traditional documentary techniques like interview and archive footage, The Dilapidated Dwelling retains the poetic sensibility and distinctive visual feel of Keiller’s renowned films London (1994), Robinson in Space (1996) and Robinson in Ruins (2010).

///

A New Kind of Bleak
Conor Lecture Theatre, Art College, Belfast
Mon 23 Jan, 1 pm
All welcome, free adm

Owen Hatherley will discuss the fate of urbanism and architecture in the UK, in the desolate new world of savage public-sector cuts, as government funds are withdrawn and the Welfare State abdicates. He will be exploring the urban consequences of the Big Society (which Conservatives privately call 'progressive nonsense') and the ‘localism agenda', as well as considering the completion of the last great Blairite schemes, from London's Shard to the site of the 2012 Olympics. In this context, Hatherley will reflect on what might be distinctive about the Belfast’s post-peace process redevelopment and regeneration, now ingloriously stalled. 

This event is part of the ongoing seminar series programmed by the Centre for Media Research at the University of Ulster.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

New Routemaster hits the streets of London: NI Creative Industries at work


The new routemaster. Image via Magnus D on Flickr.

The new Routemaster is on the streets of London, designed by Heatherwick Studio and built in Northern Ireland by Wrightbus.

"This demonstrates in a very visible way the value of the Creative Industries as supported by the current Programme for Government," says PLACE Director Michael Hegarty. "Architecture and public spaces are also currently being designed here for cities such as Copenhagen."

Read More
Fast Code Design: "London's Futuristic New Double-Decker Bus Hits The Streets" (Dec 21st 2011)
Northern Builder Magazine: Profile of Hackett Hall McKnight Architects (Issue 2, 2011)

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

somewhereto_ plant a community allotment

Recently Andy Kenny, a Masters in Landscape Architecture student, got in touch with us looking for somewhereto_ plant a community allotment. Andy and a group of several more young people from the University of Ulster Architecture Department completed the project in the past few weeks. Here, he tells us how they got on...

Starting to dig in East Belfast. Photo by Andy Kenny.

Andy, tell us a bit about yourself

I am a graduate of 3D Design and have recently obtained a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture. I have also been involved in engaging the public and community with projects including “Urban Playground”, Belfast 2008 at the Pothouse Bar, been a resident at “out of PLACE”, TransBelfast 2010 and Culture Night 2010 where I produced green interventions in the City Centre.

One of the completed allotment boxes. Photo by Andy Kenny.
Through my course in Landscape Architecture at the University of Ulster I worked with “The Science Shop” where I designed a community based project. In my thesis I explored digital technology and community planning in Northern Ireland that achieved two awards.

Why did you need a space?
The project with somewhereto_ was a continuation of “The Science Shop” community design proposal in East Belfast. From studying the research carried out by the East Belfast Partnership I believed there was a need for improvement in the areas of Education, Employment and Health of Ballymacarrett and surroundings areas in East Belfast. With the removal of Secondary and Primary schools as well as the Metropolitan College in July 2011, there is now an important opportunity to give education to the local people in the area.

Up a tree in East Belfast. Photo by Andy Kenny.
Urban agriculture would give the local people a chance to learn and gain ‘hands on’ experience. This would be linked in with local community centres and the local people with the potential of myself and others promoting growing allotments and guerrilla gardening. This would hopefully lead to a new community and provide the local people with the opportunity and confidence to get skills and employment. By the means of fresh foods available in a local context it would also create a healthier lifestyle. Also, with the simplicity of growing fresh food and the benefits of eating them it would increase the health of the local people at a low price.

The team at work. Photo by Andy Kenny.
What were your plans?
The creation of the community allotment/orchard would be through the help of the local community, somewhereto_, PLACE, East Belfast Partnership and eight Architecture students from the University of Ulster. It would be designed and constructed as a community allotment and maintained by the local people in an area of unused land owned by the NIHE on the Belmont Road.

Mucky hands! Photo by Andy Kenny.
How did the plans work out?
The design and construction of the project was successful with the students engaged throughout the process. Fruit trees were planted, planter beds were established, compost bins were constructed on site and filled. To promote the project, bird boxes with the somewhereto_ logos were placed around the site and in other potential areas.

Bird boxes at Edenvale Crescent. Photo by Andy Kenny.
The project has the potential to be continued in other areas of the city of as the allotment spaces are in high demand in Belfast. There is also great potential to expand the project with over 107 hectares of potential land in the city centre alone, according to figures from the Forum for Alternative Belfast. It is clear that the local community are interested in the project - people have been contacting me by phone, email and Twitter.

A presentation of the work is on display in the weePLACE cabinet at PLACE from 1st - 21st December, and Seed bombs and information sheets can be collected. Follow the journey of the project on Twitter: @GrowingBelfast

- Andy Kenny

***


PLACE is the Northern Ireland Regional Coordinator for somewhereto_, a nationwide project to help young people find the space they need to do the things they love within sport, culture and the arts. Run by Livity, in partnership with Channel 4, the project 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.

Do you need somewhereto_ do the things you love? Get in touch with us...

- Tweet us: @somewhereto_NI
- Phone: 028 9023 2524

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?

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.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

"The History of the City" from In Our Time


Above: Victorian London around 1900 via mdavids2000 on Flickr

Now available on the iPlayer, two editions of Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time on "The History of the City".

The first programme takes the long view from Mesopotamia in the 8th Century BC up until the milestone of London passing 1 million inhabitants in 1801. The second episode, which aired this morning, focuses on the explosion of development from the 19th century to the present which has transformed both city centres and vast swathes of their surrounding landscapes.

Panelists include Peter Hall, Tristram Hunt and Ricky Burdett.

BBC Radio 4: In Our Time - The History of the City, Part 1 and Part 2

Friday, 22 May 2009

INTBAU Ireland Summer Conference


The Irish branch of the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism (INTBAU) presents its inaugural Summer Conference:

INTBAU Ireland is pleased to announce its inaugural Summer Conference, "Design Quality in Architecture and Urban Design", to be held at the Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Rebublic of Ireland, on 29 June 2009.

The event is sponsored by the Irish Architectural Archive to whom we are very grateful.

Programme

09:00 Registration and Coffee

10:00 Welcome to the Irish Architectural Archive
David Griffin, Archive Director, IAA

10:15 Introduction to Speakers and INTBAU
Joe Drew, Chair, INTBAU Ireland

10:25 IAA Background and Resources
Simon Lincoln, Exhibitions Officer, IAA

10:45 Traditional Urban Design
Professor Robert Adam, Architect

11:45 Preservation of Character in adapting and extending traditional buildings
Marcus Patton OBE RIBA

12:30 Lunch

13:30 Thomas Drew - a Traditional Architect
Brian Hamilton, Senior Architect, OPW

14:15 The Power of Traditional Architecture
John Smylie, Architect, MICTP

14:45 Tea

15:00 Using Traditional and Natural Materials in Low Energy New Buildings and Renovation
Professor Tom Wooley

15:45 Questions and Answers in General Discussion
Panel of Speakers

16:30 Close


Conference Fee €80 (£75) per person, including lunch and refreshments.


More info on the INTBAU website.