On 7 November 2018, The Chair, Dr Coyles and Dr Grant made a presentation entitled “Hidden Barriers and Divisive Architecture: The Case of Belfast” at the Pushing Boundaries Seminar hosted by the School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences. To read more about “hidden barriers” research click here.
Ulster University partnered with Build Up and the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building to host the fifth international Build Peace Conference on 29-31 October 2018. The conference brought together practitioners, activists, academics, policy makers, artists and technologists from across the world to share experience and ideas on using technology, arts and other innovations for peacebuilding and conflict transformation. As part of the conference, Dr Coyles and Brandon Hamber arranged a tour for participants of “Hidden Barriers” in Belfast which is linked with ongoing research in this area. The tour focused on Ligoniel focusing on social division linked to architecture and design. To read more about “hidden barriers” research click here.
The WHO International Healthy Cities Conference opened on 1 October 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, bringing together more than 500 delegates from 60 countries and over 200 cities. The overarching theme of the conference was “Changing cities to change the world”, recognizing that urban centres have a vital role to play in sustainable development. The Chair gave a keynote address on 2 October at the conference in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. The keynote was built around the quotation from American-Canadian author Jane Jacobs to illustrate the importance of participation and ownership: “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody”. To find out more about the conference, click here.
Last week David Coyles, Dr Adrian Grant and Professor Brandon Hamber presented research findings to a Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series (KESS) at Stormont on “Hidden barriers and divisive architecture: the case of Belfast”. The research notes that “peace-walls” are particularly symbolic of the role that architecture plays in separating residential communities and a comprehensive scholarship continues to assess their effects, but the research focuses on other barriers in the city. The presentation outlines original findings from a three-year multi-disciplinary academic research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), which extends this current understanding of physical and social division. It reveals new evidence of a distinct and important, yet largely unrecognised, body of divisive architecture; an extensive range of ‘hidden barriers’ embedded in various architectural forms across Belfast’s residential communities. You can download the Policy Brief, click here.