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Shared Space planning principles


The research project 'Planning for Spatial Reconciliation' is engaging with a number of relevant community stakeholder groups dealing with issues around interfaces and contentious space.

As part of this dialoque, we are trying to reach a framework for arbitration when disputes about use of space arise. The following set of principles are a direct result of this dialoque:


  1. No one has a right to claim any territory on behalf of a communal identity. All of the city should be considered as shared space.

  2. Since the city as a whole is every resident's neighbourhood, urban policy and planning should be concerned to create a pluralist city for a pluralist people -- open, connected, and inter-dependent.  

  3. Civic values of equity, diversity, mutuality, and social cohesion should take precedence over those ethnic or community values, rooted in tribal partisanship.

  4. Capacity for such interlocking networks and good relations should be cultivated as a central mark of genuine community development.

  5. Initiatives concerning  peace-lines and contested spaces should  be considered within  the regeneration of their wider environments.  

  6. Development of disadvantaged areas requires a collaborative and co-ordinated approach involving cross-community local groups working with multi-agency teams to achieve deliverable outcomes, reviewed by an informed external body.

  7. Poor physical connectivity among neighbourhoods, and from those neighbourhoods to sites of employment, services and education, should be addressed as a priority. Road engineers need to acknowledge the role that they should play in helping to stitch the fragmented city back together again.

  8. New housing developments need to avoid the replication of single identity social and/or religious communities and should aim to create mixed neighbourhoods, well-linked to wider city opportunities.

  9. Such mixed developments, designed to create high-quality diverse communities, should become the model to help break down the social and sectarian divisions of existing city neighbourhoods. 

  10. Location of key public services is crucial to their accessibility. Public services should be sited in areas that are securely accessible to all communities.



Contact Information

  • Queen's University Belfast
  • School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering
  • David Keir Building
  • Stranmillis Road
  • BT9 5AG
  • 028 9097 5427

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