Mullan, Lindsey

Planning, branding and young people in Derry~Londonderry, the UK’s first City of Culture




School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering
Queen's University Belfast
Level 3
David Keir Building
Stranmillis Road
Belfast BT9 5AG
Northern Ireland



+44 (0)2890 974254


Current Research:

In 2013 Derry~Londonderry beat rivals Birmingham, Norwich and Sheffield to become the inaugural UK City of Culture. With the title came the promise of physical, social and economic renewal through joyous celebration and purposeful enquiry. Culture in the city was being remodelled from the cause of conflict and division to the cure with the yearlong events led programme promising to see the city become an exemplar international centre for cultural planning, conflict resolution and peace-making. However, how the City of Culture will practically deliver these expectations in a substantive manner is extremely interesting and requires further analysis. This PhD is being carried out as part of a larger project; ‘From Plantation to Peace: Derry/Londonderry as the UK’s first City of Culture’.

With reference to demography, Derry~Londonderry is a young city, with 40% of the population being under the age of 25. As such, my research will focus on young people and the City of Culture; determining the lasting impacts from 2013 upon the youth cohort of the city. Focussing particularly on career aspirations and mobility, this research aims to investigate the relationships that young people had with the City of Culture and the opportunities and constraints that this provided. By taking a mixed methods approach and working with schools and youth groups my thesis seeks to critically examine the ways in which young people were depicted and provided for during the City of Culture year as well as analysing how this will go on to shape the city. Using lessons learned from previous European Capitals of Culture, such as Glasgow and Liverpool, the research will also seek to outline the implications of culturally branded cities on young people for future cultural strategies and their roles as creators of spatially inclusive policies.

Supervisors: Dr Philip Boland and Dr Brendan Murtagh


MSc Spatial Regeneration, Queen’s University Belfast, 2013
BSc Environmental Planning, Queen’s University Belfast, 2012


The Leverhulme Trust