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Geography at Work projects make real-world impact

Civic and community partners have promised to act on some of the recommendations presented by Geography At Work student teams.

Geography at Work presentation
Still from the Flood Alleviation Measures presentation

The ‘Geography at Work’ programme, a module offered by Queen’s University’s School of Natural and Built Environment, gives students real world experience in applying their research skills and the knowledge that they have acquired to problems that confront society, and also gives civic organisations and community groups an opportunity to tap into the expertise provided by Queen’s in addressing local issues.

This year, the students undertook projects in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society; the Belfast Hills Partnership; Habitat for Humanity; Forward South Partnership; and Belfast City Council. They then delivered a formal assessed online presentation on their project findings in March, with representatives of the partner organisations watching closely.

The students made well-received presentations on a wide range of subjects: Flood Alleviation Measures; Career Profiles Social Media Campaign; Build Solid Ground; Housing Affordability: North Belfast; Hot Food Takeaways & Adolescent Health; and Mapping Urban Regeneration.

Following the presentations representatives of the partners gave positive feedback. Gareth Downey of Belfast City Council undertook to take the recommendations back to the appropriate sections of the Council and try to apply them.

Councillor Brian Kingston, who also represents Forward South Partnership, said: “This will be very useful to us”, adding: “you have put forward some very practical suggestions” – suggestions he and his colleagues could feed in to meetings.

Jenny Williams (Habitat for Humanity Ireland), said she was “delighted” with the presentations, praising the students for their “interest, their enthusiasm, their willingness to think outside the box”, adding: “the recommendations are just wonderful and we’ll definitely be able to use some of them”.

For an interview with Dr Niall Majury following last year’s programme, listen to episode 6 of The Charter Podcast.

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