Skills for Managing Spatial Diversity
School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering


Dissemination is an important component of both the methodology and the delivery of the grant. Ideas and preliminary findings have been disseminated at a number of conferences and seminars including the following.

ISEP Seminar Series on Spatial Planning, Queens University of Belfast, 21st May 2007
This paper located the debate about skills and competency development in a wider understanding of place restructuring in Belfast. The skills needed to respond to Belfast’s territorial map over the last 30 years will not be the same as those need to meet the challenge of tenure restructuring, new forms of exclusion and hope and the emergence of elite consumption spaces across the city. The seminar is part of the planning series and was attended by staff, colleges from across the University and postgraduate students.

The State of the City and Sustainable Communities Belfast City Council, Northern Ireland Science Park, 15th November 2007
This seminar involved speakers from Northern Ireland, Denmark and England on the theme of sustainable communities agenda. The conference was addressed by Professor Peter Roberts OBE, Chair of the Academy for Sustainable Communities and by Brendan Murtagh who gave a paper on Planning for Sustainable Communities in Belfast, which drew upon, and acknowledged, the research supported by the ESRC.

Creating Sustainable Communities Pilot Module, MSc in Environmental Planning, School of Planning Architecture and Civil Engineering, Queens University Belfast, Semester 1 2007/08
Brendan Murtagh, Geraint Ellis and Jenny Muir led a pilot module on Creating Sustainable Communities developed by the Academy for Sustainable Communities. This module was based on the proposals for a National Park in the Mourne Mountains and followed the Imagine Methodology to articulate scenarios and a development plan that encapsulated the seven principles of sustainability. The module was challenging and innovative and stretched the students understanding of sustainability and spatial planning. A report on the experiences of the Queens pilot was submitted to the Academy but if you have any queries about it, please contact Brendan Murtagh.

Shared Spaces Conference Belfast City Council, Belfast Harbour Commissioners Office, 29th January 2008
Brendan Murtagh gave a paper on Good Relations and Spatial Planning, which highlighted the disconnect between strategic policy commitments and operational practice in the management and creation of shared spaces. Here, skills and practice development were highlighted as crucial ways of deepening and sharing the competency set within and between professions and institutions in the region.

Cardiff University Planning Research Seminar Series, Cardiff University School of Planning, 3rd March 2008
Brendan Murtagh gave a presentation on the re-formation of the spatial economy, the emergence of a twin-speed city and how post-conflict boom has impacted on the drivers of urban change. This has created new divisions and spatial problems with new forms of social segregation overlaying old sectarian territories. This complexity provides an interesting context to debate and consider the skills needed across professions and practitioners on the management of Belfast.