For over 30yrs my parents have lived in NI’s 1st ‘garden village’ (albeit not to the same scale of GB garden villages), built in 1949 imo it is still a worthy & relevant case study of best practice in terms of housing model, architectural/landscape design and placemaking...
Located only 10mins outside of Belfast city centre & situated adjacent to Abbeycentre SC the accessibility to employment is high. With a bus stop serviced every 7-10minutes at peak times & a segregated cycle lane directly into Belfast it’s highly connected in terms of transport
The housing mix contains semi-D, apartments (only 3 storey in high), terraced housing and cottage flats. It also contains a home for the elderly, garden allotments, a row of 14 shop units and an old mansion house now used as a community hub
The village also has a constitution which ensures all residents are respected regardless of gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious beliefs and the community is proud of its inclusiveness
Located between two polarised communities, surprisingly the village has never been territorialised and remains a truly mixed environment without any imposed thresholds/targets
With DfC TBUC schemes attempting to redress the divided housing patterns of NI, I believe more emphasis needs to be placed upon connectivity, both in terms of employment & transport options to improve life opportunities...
But also the design of the housing, with sufficient access to green space & complementary social infrastructure to support & grow community cohesiveness and capacity building for an enhanced quality of life
While trying to address historical housing issues in NI & the recent housing shortfall, it’s not a matter of finding any available land, building housing & imposing 50:50 targets in isolation...
But looking at how we can improve the social-economic opportunities of residents and increase their quality of life to do what we as planners should be doing, creating truly sustainable and beautiful places to live ♻️
You can follow @ryantwalker92.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: