Spatial planning in contested territory
The search for a place vision after the ‘troubles’
in Northern Ireland after the troubles
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This chapter reviews the history of strategic spatial policy in post-partition Northern Ireland. It focuses on developments since the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in 1998, especially in relation to the vision of regional planning as a whole and physical image enhancement of the 'post-conflict' city of Belfast in particular. At a regional level, there is a danger of oversimplifying the complex ethnic geography, which features many enclave communities living in the territory of the 'other'. The understanding of spatial governance and planning amid such contestation thus cannot be divorced from a deeper appreciation of two cultural identities in conflict where the meaning of place is constitutive of identity itself. This remains the case in a 'post-troubles' environment. The post-war policy is against the perceived shortcomings of the economic and spatial modernisation plans of the late 1940s that all subsequent spatial policy in Northern Ireland has been judged.

Northern Ireland after the troubles

A society in transition

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