With 35% of Belfast’s population aged 25 or under, Belfast City Council recognised the need to design for the youngest in the population and place them at the heart of city planning. With support from the Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities), and working closely with Belfast City Council, Arup developed a framework and design strategy (Belfast Urban Childhoods Masterplan) that creates a more healthy, inclusive and child-friendly city centre in Belfast.
The Masterplan sets out a design framework and strategy to create a healthy, inclusive and child-friendly city centre, while addressing resilience challenges like prevalence of car use and air pollution. As cities begin the long journey of post-Covid recovery, child-friendly approach delivers benefits for all and can lead to more resilient, sustainable and inclusive cities.
The vision and design strategy work together to address the resilience challenges facing the city. These include the prevalence of car use, climate change, air pollution, drop in footfall and a lack of housing in the core of the city centre to support economic recovery and sustainable development. The design strategy incorporates a range of physical interventions that aim to promote connectivity through placemaking and active travel schemes, in addition to the retrofit of existing urban landscapes to bring people back to Belfast’s city centre.
Guideline: Designing Places for Children & Young People