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


The methodology will involve an interactive programme of qualitative and quantitative research, which sees the methodology as integral to involving key stakeholders and disseminating the results to people and agencies involved in local planning and development. The key components of the research programme include:

  1. Project initiation seminar: The research started with a seminar on at QUB, which engaged the key stakeholders from government, the academic community, training and technical support organisations, community and voluntary sector agencies, professional groups, regeneration bodies and planners in private practice.
  2. International practice: In this part of the research we will look at international practice in skills development, where there have been particular attempts to use planning instruments to respond to ethno-residential segregation.
  3. Survey of active groups. There are a large number of voluntrary and community groups involved in local development and regeneration initiatives and this provides an important resource to understand the type of competencies that are being put to work in different situations, the support needs of local groups, obstacles to skills development, and the skills set needed to manage diversity in the built environment.
  4. Semi-structured in-depth interviews and focus groups: The quantitative survey will be complemented by a programme of interviews and focus groups with key policy makers, practitioners, educators and professional bodies.
  5. Best practice case studies: There is extensive, if uncoordinated experience in a range of policy arenas about how to manage a spatially diverse society and the development challenges this presents at a local level.
  6. Assessment of skills for the “core professions”: We see value in looking at the issue of both the supply of and demand for skills and the need to address market failure at regional and national level is part of the rationale for this research proposal.
  7. Dissemination seminars: The research findings will be presented at two seminars that reflect the two key objectives of the project. The first will be in Northern Ireland and the second in England.