Architects say that Belfast’s Bolder Vision isn’t bold enough


The Royal Society of Ulster Architects have responded to Belfast’s Bolder Vision, developed jointly by Belfast City Council and the Department for Communities and the Department for Infrastructure, stating that it is not ambitious enough and that many elements lack definition.

The response, which can be read here, sites previous proposals such as Streets Ahead phase 2 and the transformation of the Inner City Ring Road which were not implemented and determines that a greater focus should be placed on “learning lessons from the past where delivery has been the problem”.

In order to address a number of challenges for the city and to align with some key issues identified in the Bolder Vision, RSUA propose a number of suggestions to bolster this vision. The organisation:

  • seeks a clear plan for year-on-year growth of pedestrianised areas and areas which combine access for walking and wheeling and public transport but which are very limited to private cars.
  • seeks a clear vision of where housing is going to be situated, the standards it will meet, the plan for affordability
  • seeks a clear vision of how the city centre will be powered and heated by 2035 and how it will not contribute to climate change (or be close to not contributing)
  • seek a clear vision of how people will be attracted to live and visit the city centre because it will have the most attractive architecture in the region
  • seek clear commitments to never be further than a prescribed distance from a public space to sit, rest and socialise throughout city centre
  • seek a clear commitment to never be further than a prescribed distance from a place for children to play
  • seeks a clear plan for clean and healthy air
  • seeks a clear plan to identify and provide, within close proximity, the public and private services required by 2035 to support a growing city centre population

The response also highlights that the overall Bolder Vision was completed in August 2019 and published in December 2019 but that many elements of the proposals remain inadequately defined. The RSUA is therefore calling for urgent steps to be taken to make tangible progress.