Planning Portal

Belfast Metropolitian Area Can Be A Success

Published on Thu, 31 Jan 2002
The Belfast metropolitan area can be a success in this new century, delegates at a major conference were told today. Sam Foster, Minister of the Environment, urged people to participate in the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan and contribute to this success.
DOE hosted the "Successful Metropolitan Areas" conference which is the latest step in the wide-ranging public consultation being carried out in connection with the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP).
Mr Foster said: "The success of any development plan is founded on local community acceptance. From the outset of BMAP, it has been my aim to involve the whole community. This will address the complex and interrelated issues which must be considered, and develop a new vision for both the urban and rural area.
"In order to promote public debate on important issues which will help shape the future development of the Metropolitan Area, I have appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers, in association with staff from Queens University and the University of Ulster, to undertake a comprehensive and wide-ranging public consultation on the Issues Paper which we launched in December last year. This is currently underway, involving 37 public meetings throughout the Plan area.
"I am calling on community, voluntary and environmental groups, the trade and industry sector, elected representatives and members of the general public to respond to our Issues Paper. It is your area; it is your future."
The keynote speakers include John FitzGerald, Research Professor, Economic and Social Research Institute Dublin, who told delegates:
"While in the past incentives may have attracted firms to a region, the issue is now, where does skilled labour want to live. Making towns and cities attractive to residents is, as a result, of growing importance in promoting regional development."
John Worthington, Visiting Professor, University of Sheffield and Chalmers Technical University Gothenburg, Sweden, said, " The success of towns and cities today is dependent on both creating a vibrant environment through the ideas and energy of local communities and looking outwards to work with like-minded communities, and learn from experience."
Kelvin Campbell, the Director of Urban Initiatives, London & Dublin, told the conference, "Good urban design is essential if we are to produce attractive, high-quality, sustainable places in which people will want to live, work and relax. It is fundamental to the objective of an urban renaissance."

Notes to Editors

  1. The Conference "Successful Metropolitan Areas" in the Octagon Centre at the Kings Hall, Belfast, Friday, 1 February 2002 was opened at 10.00 am by Mr Sam Foster MLA, Minister of the Environment.
  2. Sir George Quigley chaired the conference which included presentations by John FitzGerald Research Professor Economic and Social Research Institute Dublin; John Worthington, Visiting Professor University of Sheffield and Chalmers Technical University Gothenburg; and Kelvin Campbell, Director of Urban Initiatives, London & Dublin.
  3. The Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan will cover the Belfast, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Lisburn, Newtownabbey and North Down Council areas.
  4. The BMAP Issues Paper, which was launched last month, forms the basis for public consultation and seeks to stimulate debate on important planning matters in the plan area.
  5. To encourage an inclusive consultation process, a series of information and consultation meetings are currently taking place. The meetings which are arranged and chaired by PricewaterhouseCoopers in association with staff from Queens University and the Urban Institute at the University of Ulster, are being held at venues throughout the plan area. The detailed arrangements for these events have been advertised in the local press and are available on this website.
  6. Copies of the Issues Paper may be obtained, free of charge, from the Plan Team at Clarence Court, Adelaide Street, Belfast, or from the offices of the six Councils. It is available on the DOE website also. For visually impaired people, it is available on request in large print, braille or on audiotape.
  7. Information on background to BMAP – contact Pat Quinn on 028 9054 0728.
  8. For further media information, please contact Paddy Murphy, DOE Press Office, Tel 028 9054 0014.
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