A host of regeneration projects are seeking to improve the lives of the people of Belfast. LGC looks at three of them.
The Connswater Community Greenway is a large environmental improvement project connecting 153ha of public open space which involves building 43 bridges and 19km of footpaths and cycle paths. Costing£30m, the project will benefit around 50,000 people living nearby, who will have a better living environment and better opportunities for leisure, exercise and recreation, which it is hoped will promote healthier lifestyles.
Racism is being tackled by the South Belfast Roundtable, a wide-ranging project that promotes community cohesion. Not only does it befriend incomers and educate people about their new neighbours for example through ‘myth-busting’ programmes it also offers emergency interventions if necessary. The project believes that racism and inequality must be addressed if south Belfast is to prosper, and has the goal of ensuring that “anybody can feel safe whatever their ethnic origin”.
Féile an Phobail, otherwise known as the West Belfast Festival, promotes regeneration and cohesion through the arts. The festival was established to promote a more positive image of the local community as a direct response to the killing of two British servicemen at a Republican funeral in 1998. The festival celebrates arts and sport through affordable activities, and has grown from a modest parade of floats to a year-round programme with many events.