Research Project Launch, Belfast THRI(VES): Transformative Health & Regeneration Initiatives (for Vibrancy, Equality, and Sustainability)

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In January 2021 University of Ulster, Belfast City Council (BCC), NI Department for Infrastructure, and NI Department for Communities began Belfast-THRI(VES), a pilot, practical research project between Ulster University and BCC to support BCC and both the DfI and DfC to better inform decisions for enhancing the liveability of the city and wellbeing of its inhabitants. Following Covid restrictions and guidelines the official public press release and photoshoot was held on 10th May 2021 when safe to convene the THRI(VES) research team (Dr Saul Golden, PI; Dr Gavan Rafferty, CoI; and Prof Gerry Leavey, CoI) together with DfI Minister Nichola Mallon, Belfast Lord Mayor Alderman Frank McCoubrey, and Ulster PVC Research Prof Liam Maguire; with support provided by DfC Minister Deirdre Hargey. The 6-month project is funded through BCC via the Department for Communities (DfC) Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme and the Department for Infrastructure (DfI); it will run until September 2021. Launched officially during Mental Health Awareness week (10th – 16th May), the innovative pilot programme has been designed to study holistic health and wellbeing-led models for planning, designing and managing the city centre’s public spaces for the long-term; and to respond to immediate health and socio-economic threats from the Covid-19 pandemic. A multi-disciplinary team of researchers from Ulster’s Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment (BSABE, Urban Research Lab) and School of Psychology (The Bamford Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing) are working jointly with a team from Belfast City Council’s City Regeneration & Development team to deliver this research. The research project will support BCC, DfI and DfC to develop new urban-health focused collaborative working practices across civic and private sectors and will complement other active studies into economic regeneration and reducing the carbon footprint of the city. Through the project delivery and dissemination, Belfast will take inspiration from cities around the world, working with governments, developers, and researchers from Auckland to Seattle and Philadelphia to London, who have pioneered health and regeneration initiatives from one-off projects to city-region-wide strategies. THRIVES will seek to learn from these processes in order to shortcut challenges faced by others and to identify gaps in Belfast’s current offering which could be developed to benefit the Public, Policy-Makers, Project Partners and Contributors, and Ulster University students directly involved in the research and related teaching activities. The project delivered a public symposium on 16-17 June 2021, with the public invited to evening and daytime events to hear from international and local keynote speakers and panel discussions contributing to mapping health-related data, designs, and attitudes on key transformative projects for cycle lanes, quiet streets, and public interventions for shared recreation, retail, and delivery of Council services.
Period8 Jan 202131 Aug 2021
Event typeOther
LocationBelfast, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational