Re: Enthusiasm for open debate on urban design in Belfast

Home Forums Ireland Victoria Square block redevlopment Re: Enthusiasm for open debate on urban design in Belfast


**This is a separate issue, strictly. If anyone wishes to comment further on open debate on urban design in Belfast, perhaps they should start a new thread.**

I would like, for a moment, to set aside the issue of the place(s) with which Archiseek members are most familiar.

I am trying to encourage debate on regeneration etc. in Belfast. I suspect that a shortage in the number of people in Belfast with an enthusiasm for making comment on urban design may be the most significant reason for a lack of comment on Victoria Square. I am not so familiar with the Belfast “architectural scene”, though I know the city well, so I may be wrong: this post may inspire comment on Victoria Square from more Belfast-based members… I very much hope it does. My view comes from once having heard someone in Belfast express disappointment that their efforts to drum up discussion and debate on urban design and architecture in that city resulted in little comment. The person in question was from Belfast, in case you wonder! I admit that one comment is a very limited basis on which to form such a view, so I am open to being convinced otherwise (…on another thread!). However… Compare: I understand that the population of the Belfast commuter region is not so different from that of Dublin; Belfast, like Dublin, has two architecture schools; I am not aware that Belfast has a local architectural discussion website and, even if it did, it would be a great shame if such a website were to supplant the Ireland-wide Archiseek as the primary place for online discussion on architectural issues relating to Belfast.

And back to the location of Archseek’s membership. Thinking back, I do remember debating the merits of urban design projects in other towns, cities and countries long before visiting them. It is very true, I couldn’t “judge” them before visiting, but I was interested. Debate and comment are good! But perhaps I’m just too enthusiastic about all this? On first visiting Archiseek, it was clear to me that there is more discussion on Dublin than on Belfast. If more members are based in Dublin, then this is another reason for a lack of comment on Victoria Square. It is natural, of course, that someone will be more inclined to comment on an issue on their doorstep than something at a distance they not have seen.

I cited Dublin as an example because, by comparison, debate on architecture seems open, enthusiastic and plentiful in Dublin. I trust all the above helps readers understand my point.

I am surprised Victoria Square hasn’t generated more discussion. If it were the centre of Glasgow, Cardiff or Manchester, it surely would?

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