Addressing Housing Inequalities in Post-Conflict Belfast: A Transformative Justice Approach

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Belfast is a deeply divided city not just politically, socially, and economically but physically. It is a city shaped by its history, its experiences of violent conflict and its post-conflict transition. A collage of so-called peace walls segregate the city’s neighbourhoods creating some of the most deprived areas where inequalities are exacerbated by the tension and sectarianism that segregation reinforces. Historical and new inequalities in the provision and allocation of social housing affects many vulnerable individuals and communities. The challenge of navigating housing in a politically and physically divided city has resulted in failed opportunities to address these inequalities. Addressing the legacy of violence and human rights violations is central to building sustainable peace. If we acknowledge that socio-economic inequalities are not only a consequence of violent conflict but a root cause, then we must also acknowledge that correcting these inequalities is an essential component of post-conflict policy. Under a transformative justice approach to peacebuilding, affirmative action programmes and grassroots social movements, such as the Right to the City, could be utilised to re-shape housing policy and address chronic housing inequalities in post-conflict Belfast. In doing so we could look to the future as well as deal with the past.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference, The City is [NOT] a Tree
Subtitle of host publicationThe Urban Ecologies of Divided Cities
EditorsAmira Osman, John Nagle, Sabyasachi Tripathi
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-27308-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-27307-0
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Mar 2023
EventThe City is [Not] a Tree: The Urban Ecologies of Divided Cities : UEDC International Conference - Pretoria, South Africa
Duration: 5 Jul 20227 Jul 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Science, Technology & Innovation
ISSN (Print)2522-8714
ISSN (Electronic)2522-8722


ConferenceThe City is [Not] a Tree: The Urban Ecologies of Divided Cities
Abbreviated titleUEDC
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023.


  • Divided Cities
  • Housing Inequality
  • Transformative Justice
  • Affirmative Action
  • Transformative justice
  • Affirmative action
  • Housing inequality
  • Divided cities


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