Reflections on Titanic Quarter:The cultural and material legacy of a historic Belfast brand.

Research output: Other contribution

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper provides an architectural reflection on Titanic Quarter, a docklands urban regeneration scheme located in east Belfast, Northern Ireland, situated at the birthplace of the Titanic. This development exploits cultural associations with the titular ship and embodies a convergence of neo-liberal ideology and architectural branding that mark Titanic Quarter as an important material manifestation of a society in post-conflict transformation. Notwithstanding its status as a private enterprise, policy makers have embraced Titanic Quarter as a catalyst for urban renewal within inner-city east Belfast. This paper examines how the ideological approach underpinning Titanic Quarter has served to distance the consequent architectural response from the cultural context of east Belfast and the inherent regeneration challenge. The discussion reflects on the notion of economically driven regeneration within the wider context of neo-liberal regeneration and a Troubles-era and post-conflict Belfast. The paper explores the architectural iconography of the Titanic Quarter through a policy context, a cultural context and a material context of architectural forms and spaces. The reflection concludes by establishing that the variances in the public and private sector aspirations for the scheme dictate a lack of specificity to the architectural context of east Belfast.
LanguageEnglish
VolumeTBC
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint

private enterprise
cultural development
urban renewal
private sector
public sector
ideology
lack
Society

Keywords

  • Titanic
  • urban regeneration
  • post-conflict Belfast
  • architectural branding
  • cultural identity
  • neo-liberal regeneration.

Cite this

@misc{418daa857f0a400f97867a44cbea8a91,
title = "Reflections on Titanic Quarter:The cultural and material legacy of a historic Belfast brand.",
abstract = "This paper provides an architectural reflection on Titanic Quarter, a docklands urban regeneration scheme located in east Belfast, Northern Ireland, situated at the birthplace of the Titanic. This development exploits cultural associations with the titular ship and embodies a convergence of neo-liberal ideology and architectural branding that mark Titanic Quarter as an important material manifestation of a society in post-conflict transformation. Notwithstanding its status as a private enterprise, policy makers have embraced Titanic Quarter as a catalyst for urban renewal within inner-city east Belfast. This paper examines how the ideological approach underpinning Titanic Quarter has served to distance the consequent architectural response from the cultural context of east Belfast and the inherent regeneration challenge. The discussion reflects on the notion of economically driven regeneration within the wider context of neo-liberal regeneration and a Troubles-era and post-conflict Belfast. The paper explores the architectural iconography of the Titanic Quarter through a policy context, a cultural context and a material context of architectural forms and spaces. The reflection concludes by establishing that the variances in the public and private sector aspirations for the scheme dictate a lack of specificity to the architectural context of east Belfast.",
keywords = "Titanic, urban regeneration, post-conflict Belfast, architectural branding, cultural identity, neo-liberal regeneration.",
author = "David Coyles",
note = "Draft: Recommended for publication by Journal double blind peer review process Reference text: Turley Associates, (2012). News: The Titanic Quarter, Belfast. Available at: http://turleyassociates.co.uk/2012/06/titanic-quarter-belfast/ [Accessed on 20 July 2012]. BBC News, (2010). Titanic Quarter builder can't force man to pay for flat. BBC News Online, 26 August. Available at: <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-11094950> [Accessed 17 July 2012]. Coyles, D. (2009) Saving The Titanic, Architecture Ireland, 243, pp. 51-52 William Neill has written extensively about the attempts at promoting an image of Belfast that is an alternative to that associated with the conflict: Neill, W. J. V., (1993). Physical planning and image enhancement: recent developments in Belfast, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 17 (4), pp. 595–609; Neill, W. J. V., (1999). Whose city? Can a place vision for Belfast avoid the issue of identity?, European Planning Studies, 7 (3), pp. 269-281; Neill, W. J. V., (2006). Return to Titanic and lost in the maze: The search for representation of ‘post-conflict’ Belfast, Space and Polity, 10 (2), pp. 109-120. Murtagh, B., (2010) Desegregation and Place Restructuring in the New Belfast, Urban Studies, 48 (6), pp. 1119–1135; Shirlow, P., (2006). Belfast: The ‘post-conflict’ city, Space and Polity, 10 (2), pp. 99-107. Peck, J. and Tickell, A., (2002). Neoliberalizng space, Antipode, 34 (3), pp. 380–404. Neill, W. J. V., (1993); Neill, W. J. V., (1999); Neill, W. J. V., (2006); op. cit. Newman, P. and Thornley, A. (1996) ‘Great Britain—the legacy of Thatcherism’, Urban Planning in Europe. London and New York: Routledge, pp.111-125. Peck, J. and Tickell, A., (2002). op. cit. Anderson, J., (1990). The ‘new right’, Enterprise Zones and Urban Development Corporations, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 14 (3), pp. 468–489 Florio, S. and Brownill, S., (2000). Whatever happened to criticism? Interpreting the London Docklands Development Corporation's obituary, City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 4 (1), pp. 53-64. The polarity of the economic criticism of Canary Wharf is reflective of the significant timescale that lapsed between the projects inception and eventual stabilisation: Merrifield A, 1993, {"}The Canary Wharf debacle: from 'TINA' -- there is no alternative -- to 'THEMBA' -- there must be an alternative{"} Environment and Planning, 25 (9), pp. 1247–1265; Op Cit, Gordon, (2001) Colenutt, B., and Cutten, A., (1994). Community empowerment in vogue or vain?, Local Economy, 9 (3), pp. 236-250 The Times, 18 May 1992, p.13, quoted in 'Modern Docklands: Gazetteer of modern non-housing developments', Survey of London: volumes 43 and 44: Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs (1994), pp. 707-724. Available at: <http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=46550> [Accessed: 26 July 2012] Gordon, D. L. A., (2001). The Resurrection of Canary Wharf, Planning Theory & Practice, 2 (2), pp. 149-168 Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. Available at: <http://pcparch.com/project/one-canada-square> [Accessed on 1 July 2012] New Local Government Network, (2012). Don’t Look Down: The Impact of the Shard on Local Residents. 1 August 2012, Available at: http://www.nlgn.org.uk/public/2012/dont-look-down-the-impact-of-the-shard-on-local-residents/ [Accessed on 4 August 2012] Weaver, M. (2003). 'Shard of glass' set to join London skyline, Guardian Online, [online] 19 November. Available at: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2003/nov/19/urbandesign.architecture> [Accessed 27 March 2012] Moore, R. (2012). 'Shard of glass' set to join London skyline, Observer Online, [online] 22 April. Available at: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2012/apr/22/shard-london-bridge-irvine-sellar> [Accessed 1 June 2012] The National Trust are an NGO responsible for preservation of a large number of spaces and places across Great Britain. The National trust would be consulted by local authorities in regards to contentious development proposals that might adversely affect heritage sites. From the National Trust of Great Britain website: ‘Back in 1895, we were founded with the aim of saving our nation's heritage and open spaces. 116 years later, we're still working hard to uphold these values’. Available at: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/what-we-do/who-we-are/ [Accessed on 1 August 2012]. Both views were expressed on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme. Jenkins, S. (2007), Thatcher and Sons. A Revolution in Three Acts (Updated version, London: Penguin Books, p.130. Bollens, S., (1999). Urban Peacebuilding in Divided Societies, Oxford: Westview Press, p.67. Statement made by a former high-level Northern Ireland civil servant in Bollens, S., (1999), op. cit., p.67. Bollens, S. ,(1999), op. cit., p.74. Shirlow, P., (2006). op. cit. Brown, S., (1985). Smithfield Shopping Centre, Belfast, Irish Geography, 18 (1), pp. 67-69. Brown, S., (1985). City centre commercial revitalisation: the Belfast experience. The Planner, 71 (5), 9-12 Across Belfast extensive efforts where made to rehabilitate and preserve inner-city Victorian-era housing stock and street patterns where possible to minimise disruption to community life. Smithfield and Castlecourt are an obvious exception to this norm and exemplify the import placed upon economic regeneration by the government of the era. (Interview with R Williamson, East Belfast District Manager, Northern Ireland Housing Executive). Laganside Corporation, (n.d.). Available at: <http://www.laganside.com/about.asp> [Accessed on 22 July 2012]. Neill, W. J. V., (2006). op. cit. p. 109. Fawcett, P., (1997). On the waterfront: building study. Architects Journal, 205 (9), pp. 35-43. O'Hearn (2008): How has Peace Changed the Northern Irish Political Economy?, Ethnopolitics: Formerly Global Review of Ethnopolitics, 7:1, 101-118. In this piece O’Hearn argues that the working classes consistently fail to derive the benefits of the so-called ‘peace’ dividend of investment that followed the cessation of violence in Northern Ireland. The ‘abandoned’ plaza at the Rotterdam Bar provides material evidence of the authentic ambitions for this public realm. Hatherely, O., (2012). A New Kind of Bleak: Journeys Through Urban Britain. London: Verso, p.317 From the Laganside website: Laganside has secured: Over £900 million of investment in the area; Over 14,200 jobs; Over 213,000m2 of office space; Over 83,000m2 competed retail/leisure space; Over 700 completed housing units. Available at: http://www.laganside.com/about.asp [Accessed on 1 July 2012]. McEldowney, M., Scott, M. and Smyth, A., (2003). Integrating land‐use planning and transportation‐ policy formulation in the Belfast metropolitan area, Irish Geography, pp. 36 (2), pp. 112-126. Department for Regional Development Northern Ireland (DRDNI), (2001), Shaping Our Future - Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland 2025. Belfast: DRDNI. McEldowney, M. and Sterrett, K., (2001). Shaping a Regional Vision: the Case of Northern Ireland, Local Economy, 16 (1), pp. 38-49. DRDNI, (2001). op. cit. p22. DRDNI, (2001). op. cit. p67. Department of the Environment Northern Ireland (DOENI), (2004a). Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP) 2015 Draft Plan November 2004 Parts 1-3 Volume 1 Plan Strategy and Framework. Belfast: DOENI. DOENI, (2004a). op. cit. p23. DRDNI, (2012). Building a Better Future - Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland 2035. Belfast: DRDNI, p.54. DRDNI, (2012). op. cit. p54. TQ, Titanic Quarter Limited, (2005). Titanic Quarter Development Framework, p.3. Available at: <http://www.titanic-quarter.com/about.php?ID=5> [Accessed 4 December 2008]. Addley, E. and McDonald, I., (2012). Will Titanic Belfast do for the city what the Guggenheim did for Bilbao?, Guardian Online, [online] 23 March. Available at: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/mar/23/titanic-belfast-guggenheim-bilbao> [Accessed 23 March 2012] Kelly, A., (2005). Geopolitical Eclipse, Third Text, 19 (5), pp. 545-553. Go To Belfast, (2012). Our Quarters. Available at: <http://www.gotobelfast.com/home/page/our-quarters> [Accessed 7 July 2012] Northern Ireland Executive, (2012). Kennedy unveils new Titanic Quarter signage at Belfast Train Station. [press release] 28 March 2012, Available at: <http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/media-centre/news-departments/news-drd/news-releases-drd-march-2012/280312-drd-kennedy-unveils-new.htm> [Accessed 18 July 2012]. Belfast City Council, (n.d.). In the Beginning …From Dargan’s Island to Queen’s Island. Available at: <www.belfastcity.gov.uk/titanicquarter/docs/titanictale2.doc> [Accessed 1 March 2012]. Information obtained through a press office statement from the Department for Regional Development Northern Ireland (Roads Service) to the author, 18 July 2012. Ibid. Information obtained through a press office statement from Harland and Wolff to the author, 26 July 2012. Finlay, A., (2001). Defeatism and Northern Protestant ‘Identity’, The Global Review of Ethnopolitics, 1 (2), pp. 3-20. In this piece Finlay accounts for a perception of defeatism held by the Protestant population of Northern Ireland and the demise of the once mighty Protestant shipyard workforce is a crucial part of this narrative with the cranes forming a potent and symbolic memorial to this history. Etchart, J., (2008). The Titanic Quarter in Belfast: Building a New Place in a Divided City, Nordic Irish Studies, (7), pp. 31-40 TQ, Titanic Quarter Limited (2007) Titanic Quarter, Regenerating Belfast, London: 3Fox International, p.13. Eric Kuhne of Civic Arts, architect of the Titanic Quarter masterplan, quoted in ibid. p31. {\'O} Murch{\'u}, N., (2005). Ethnic politics and labour market closure: Shipbuilding and industrial decline in Northern Ireland, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 28 (5), pp. 859-879. TQ, Titanic Quarter Limited (2007), op. cit. p.30. Yiftachel, O. and Yacobi, H. (2003) Urban ethnocracy: ethnicization and the pro- duction of space in an Israeli ‘mixed city’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 21 (6), pp. 673–693. In this paper the authors analyse the ideology adopted within Israel to create multi-ethnic spaces and raise familiar questions regarding the feasibility of such ideals beyond the rhetoric. H.M. Prison Maze was set up during the Troubles on the site of the former RAF Long Kesh airfield. The prison housed many Loyalist and Republican prisoners and was the scene of the IRA ‘Hunger Strikes’ of the 1980s and a number of prisoner escapes. After the signing of the ‘Good Friday Agreement’ in 1998 almost 500 paramilitary prisoners were released from the prison. Republicans still refer to the site as Long Kesh. Flynn, M. K., (2011). Decision-making and Contested Heritage in Northern Ireland: The Former Maze Prison/Long Kesh, Irish Political Studies, 26 (3), pp. 383-401. O'Hearn (2008), op. cit. TQ, Titanic Quarter Limited, (2010c). Titanic Quarter Housing - Meeting 1, Minutes from 12 August 2010, Titanic House, Queen’s Island , Belfast. DOE (2004c) Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP) 2015 Draft Plan November 2004 Parts 4 Volume 2 District Proposals Belfast. Belfast: DOE, p.105. The opening of Titanic Belfast attracted the attention of both the New York Times and LA Times: Dalby, D., (2012 Raising the Memory of the Titanic, and a City’s Role in Its Creation, New York Times Online, [online] 16 April. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/16/world/europe/belfast-embraces-the-titanic.html [Accessed 4 May 2012]; Stobart, J., (2012 Raising the Memory of the Titanic, and a City’s Role in Its Creation, New York Times Online, [online] 30 March. Available at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/03/the-titanic-belfast-opens.html [Accessed 4 May 2012] Northern Ireland Executive, (2007). The Titanic Signature Project misses out on making the final shortlist of the BIG Lottery Fund. [press release] 19 October 2007, Available at: < http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/news/news-deti/news-deti-october-2007/news-deti-191007-titanic-signature-project.htm> [Accessed 4 December 2008]. Northern Ireland Executive, (2008). The Executive continues to meet, discuss and develop proposals to redress hardship and stimulate the economy. [press release] 27 November 2008. Available at: <http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/media-centre/executive-statements/content-2711018-executive-creates-momentum.htm> [Accessed 4 December 2008]. Magee, K., (2012). Titanic Belfast : Will it rival Disneyland, Tate Modern and the Guggenheim?, BBC News Online, 29 March. Available at: <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-17552802> [Accessed 4 May 2012]. Addley, E. and McDonald, I., (2012). op. cit. Building Design, (2012). Carbuncle Cup 2012 shortlist. Building Design Online, [online] 22 July. Available at: <http://www.bdonline.co.uk/buildings/carbuncle-cup> [Accessed 7 July 2012]. Perec, G (2008) Species of Spaces. London: Penguin Classics, pp. 50-51. Jacobs, J., 1993. The death and life of great American cities. New York: Modern Library, p.50. Department for Social Development (DSD) (2010a) Area Profile of Inner East Belfast Neighbourhood Renewal Area (NRA). Available at: http://www.ninis.nisra.gov.uk/nra/Report.asp?NRAName=Inner{\%}20East{\%}20Belfast&devOffice=Belfast{\%}20Regeneration{\%}20Office [Accessed 1 May 2012] Northern Ireland Executive, (2010). Social Development Minister, Margaret Ritchie, today announced funds of £440,000 for a dynamic Housing Executive initiative across Northern Ireland. [press release] 21 January 2012, Available at: <http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/news/news-dsd/news-dsd-january-2010/news-dsd-210110-440000-boost-for.htm> Belfast City Council, (n.d.) Renewing the Routes. Available at: <http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/renewingtheroutes/pdfs/RenewingtheRoutesOverview.pdf> [Accessed 1 August 2012]. East Belfast Partnership, (2012). Newtownards Road Facade Improvement Launch: Fri 29 June [online] 26 June. Available at: < http://www.eastbelfastpartnership.org/news/3-news/167-newtownards-road-facade-improvement-launch-fri-29-june-.html> [Accessed 27 July 2012] In an interview with the author the organisers of the scheme admitted to the superficial limits of the scheme and their own frustration at not being able to do more. Information obtained through an interview with East Belfast Partnership, 14 June 2012. Northern Ireland Executive, (2012). Foster welcomes the Queen to Titanic Belfast. [press release] 27 June 2012, Available at: < http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/media-centre/news-departments/news-deti/news-releases-deti-june-2012/news-deti-270612-foster-welcomes-the.htm> [Accessed 20 July 2012]. Northern Ireland Audit Office, (2011). Northern Ireland Tourist Board – Review of the Signature Projects, BELFAST: The Stationery Office, p. 43. Northern Ireland Screen, (n.d.). The Paint Hall Film Studio. Available at: <http://www.northernirelandscreen.co.uk/sections/10/the-paint-hall-studio.aspx> [Accessed 27 July 2012] Coyles, D., (2009). op. cit. Statement from the Titanic Belfast website. Available at: <www.titanicbelfast.com/Navigation/The-Titanic-Experience.aspx> [Accessed on 24 July 2012]",
year = "2013",
language = "English",
volume = "TBC",
type = "Other",

}

TY - GEN

T1 - Reflections on Titanic Quarter:The cultural and material legacy of a historic Belfast brand.

AU - Coyles, David

N1 - Draft: Recommended for publication by Journal double blind peer review process Reference text: Turley Associates, (2012). News: The Titanic Quarter, Belfast. Available at: http://turleyassociates.co.uk/2012/06/titanic-quarter-belfast/ [Accessed on 20 July 2012]. BBC News, (2010). Titanic Quarter builder can't force man to pay for flat. BBC News Online, 26 August. Available at: <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-11094950> [Accessed 17 July 2012]. Coyles, D. (2009) Saving The Titanic, Architecture Ireland, 243, pp. 51-52 William Neill has written extensively about the attempts at promoting an image of Belfast that is an alternative to that associated with the conflict: Neill, W. J. V., (1993). Physical planning and image enhancement: recent developments in Belfast, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 17 (4), pp. 595–609; Neill, W. J. V., (1999). Whose city? Can a place vision for Belfast avoid the issue of identity?, European Planning Studies, 7 (3), pp. 269-281; Neill, W. J. V., (2006). Return to Titanic and lost in the maze: The search for representation of ‘post-conflict’ Belfast, Space and Polity, 10 (2), pp. 109-120. Murtagh, B., (2010) Desegregation and Place Restructuring in the New Belfast, Urban Studies, 48 (6), pp. 1119–1135; Shirlow, P., (2006). Belfast: The ‘post-conflict’ city, Space and Polity, 10 (2), pp. 99-107. Peck, J. and Tickell, A., (2002). Neoliberalizng space, Antipode, 34 (3), pp. 380–404. Neill, W. J. V., (1993); Neill, W. J. V., (1999); Neill, W. J. V., (2006); op. cit. Newman, P. and Thornley, A. (1996) ‘Great Britain—the legacy of Thatcherism’, Urban Planning in Europe. London and New York: Routledge, pp.111-125. Peck, J. and Tickell, A., (2002). op. cit. Anderson, J., (1990). The ‘new right’, Enterprise Zones and Urban Development Corporations, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 14 (3), pp. 468–489 Florio, S. and Brownill, S., (2000). Whatever happened to criticism? Interpreting the London Docklands Development Corporation's obituary, City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 4 (1), pp. 53-64. The polarity of the economic criticism of Canary Wharf is reflective of the significant timescale that lapsed between the projects inception and eventual stabilisation: Merrifield A, 1993, "The Canary Wharf debacle: from 'TINA' -- there is no alternative -- to 'THEMBA' -- there must be an alternative" Environment and Planning, 25 (9), pp. 1247–1265; Op Cit, Gordon, (2001) Colenutt, B., and Cutten, A., (1994). Community empowerment in vogue or vain?, Local Economy, 9 (3), pp. 236-250 The Times, 18 May 1992, p.13, quoted in 'Modern Docklands: Gazetteer of modern non-housing developments', Survey of London: volumes 43 and 44: Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs (1994), pp. 707-724. Available at: <http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=46550> [Accessed: 26 July 2012] Gordon, D. L. A., (2001). The Resurrection of Canary Wharf, Planning Theory & Practice, 2 (2), pp. 149-168 Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. Available at: <http://pcparch.com/project/one-canada-square> [Accessed on 1 July 2012] New Local Government Network, (2012). Don’t Look Down: The Impact of the Shard on Local Residents. 1 August 2012, Available at: http://www.nlgn.org.uk/public/2012/dont-look-down-the-impact-of-the-shard-on-local-residents/ [Accessed on 4 August 2012] Weaver, M. (2003). 'Shard of glass' set to join London skyline, Guardian Online, [online] 19 November. Available at: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2003/nov/19/urbandesign.architecture> [Accessed 27 March 2012] Moore, R. (2012). 'Shard of glass' set to join London skyline, Observer Online, [online] 22 April. Available at: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2012/apr/22/shard-london-bridge-irvine-sellar> [Accessed 1 June 2012] The National Trust are an NGO responsible for preservation of a large number of spaces and places across Great Britain. The National trust would be consulted by local authorities in regards to contentious development proposals that might adversely affect heritage sites. From the National Trust of Great Britain website: ‘Back in 1895, we were founded with the aim of saving our nation's heritage and open spaces. 116 years later, we're still working hard to uphold these values’. Available at: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/what-we-do/who-we-are/ [Accessed on 1 August 2012]. Both views were expressed on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme. Jenkins, S. (2007), Thatcher and Sons. A Revolution in Three Acts (Updated version, London: Penguin Books, p.130. Bollens, S., (1999). Urban Peacebuilding in Divided Societies, Oxford: Westview Press, p.67. Statement made by a former high-level Northern Ireland civil servant in Bollens, S., (1999), op. cit., p.67. Bollens, S. ,(1999), op. cit., p.74. Shirlow, P., (2006). op. cit. Brown, S., (1985). Smithfield Shopping Centre, Belfast, Irish Geography, 18 (1), pp. 67-69. Brown, S., (1985). City centre commercial revitalisation: the Belfast experience. The Planner, 71 (5), 9-12 Across Belfast extensive efforts where made to rehabilitate and preserve inner-city Victorian-era housing stock and street patterns where possible to minimise disruption to community life. Smithfield and Castlecourt are an obvious exception to this norm and exemplify the import placed upon economic regeneration by the government of the era. (Interview with R Williamson, East Belfast District Manager, Northern Ireland Housing Executive). Laganside Corporation, (n.d.). Available at: <http://www.laganside.com/about.asp> [Accessed on 22 July 2012]. Neill, W. J. V., (2006). op. cit. p. 109. Fawcett, P., (1997). On the waterfront: building study. Architects Journal, 205 (9), pp. 35-43. O'Hearn (2008): How has Peace Changed the Northern Irish Political Economy?, Ethnopolitics: Formerly Global Review of Ethnopolitics, 7:1, 101-118. In this piece O’Hearn argues that the working classes consistently fail to derive the benefits of the so-called ‘peace’ dividend of investment that followed the cessation of violence in Northern Ireland. The ‘abandoned’ plaza at the Rotterdam Bar provides material evidence of the authentic ambitions for this public realm. Hatherely, O., (2012). A New Kind of Bleak: Journeys Through Urban Britain. London: Verso, p.317 From the Laganside website: Laganside has secured: Over £900 million of investment in the area; Over 14,200 jobs; Over 213,000m2 of office space; Over 83,000m2 competed retail/leisure space; Over 700 completed housing units. Available at: http://www.laganside.com/about.asp [Accessed on 1 July 2012]. McEldowney, M., Scott, M. and Smyth, A., (2003). Integrating land‐use planning and transportation‐ policy formulation in the Belfast metropolitan area, Irish Geography, pp. 36 (2), pp. 112-126. Department for Regional Development Northern Ireland (DRDNI), (2001), Shaping Our Future - Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland 2025. Belfast: DRDNI. McEldowney, M. and Sterrett, K., (2001). Shaping a Regional Vision: the Case of Northern Ireland, Local Economy, 16 (1), pp. 38-49. DRDNI, (2001). op. cit. p22. DRDNI, (2001). op. cit. p67. Department of the Environment Northern Ireland (DOENI), (2004a). Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP) 2015 Draft Plan November 2004 Parts 1-3 Volume 1 Plan Strategy and Framework. Belfast: DOENI. DOENI, (2004a). op. cit. p23. DRDNI, (2012). Building a Better Future - Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland 2035. Belfast: DRDNI, p.54. DRDNI, (2012). op. cit. p54. TQ, Titanic Quarter Limited, (2005). Titanic Quarter Development Framework, p.3. Available at: <http://www.titanic-quarter.com/about.php?ID=5> [Accessed 4 December 2008]. Addley, E. and McDonald, I., (2012). Will Titanic Belfast do for the city what the Guggenheim did for Bilbao?, Guardian Online, [online] 23 March. Available at: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/mar/23/titanic-belfast-guggenheim-bilbao> [Accessed 23 March 2012] Kelly, A., (2005). Geopolitical Eclipse, Third Text, 19 (5), pp. 545-553. Go To Belfast, (2012). Our Quarters. Available at: <http://www.gotobelfast.com/home/page/our-quarters> [Accessed 7 July 2012] Northern Ireland Executive, (2012). Kennedy unveils new Titanic Quarter signage at Belfast Train Station. [press release] 28 March 2012, Available at: <http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/media-centre/news-departments/news-drd/news-releases-drd-march-2012/280312-drd-kennedy-unveils-new.htm> [Accessed 18 July 2012]. Belfast City Council, (n.d.). In the Beginning …From Dargan’s Island to Queen’s Island. Available at: <www.belfastcity.gov.uk/titanicquarter/docs/titanictale2.doc> [Accessed 1 March 2012]. Information obtained through a press office statement from the Department for Regional Development Northern Ireland (Roads Service) to the author, 18 July 2012. Ibid. Information obtained through a press office statement from Harland and Wolff to the author, 26 July 2012. Finlay, A., (2001). Defeatism and Northern Protestant ‘Identity’, The Global Review of Ethnopolitics, 1 (2), pp. 3-20. In this piece Finlay accounts for a perception of defeatism held by the Protestant population of Northern Ireland and the demise of the once mighty Protestant shipyard workforce is a crucial part of this narrative with the cranes forming a potent and symbolic memorial to this history. Etchart, J., (2008). The Titanic Quarter in Belfast: Building a New Place in a Divided City, Nordic Irish Studies, (7), pp. 31-40 TQ, Titanic Quarter Limited (2007) Titanic Quarter, Regenerating Belfast, London: 3Fox International, p.13. Eric Kuhne of Civic Arts, architect of the Titanic Quarter masterplan, quoted in ibid. p31. Ó Murchú, N., (2005). Ethnic politics and labour market closure: Shipbuilding and industrial decline in Northern Ireland, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 28 (5), pp. 859-879. TQ, Titanic Quarter Limited (2007), op. cit. p.30. Yiftachel, O. and Yacobi, H. (2003) Urban ethnocracy: ethnicization and the pro- duction of space in an Israeli ‘mixed city’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 21 (6), pp. 673–693. In this paper the authors analyse the ideology adopted within Israel to create multi-ethnic spaces and raise familiar questions regarding the feasibility of such ideals beyond the rhetoric. H.M. Prison Maze was set up during the Troubles on the site of the former RAF Long Kesh airfield. The prison housed many Loyalist and Republican prisoners and was the scene of the IRA ‘Hunger Strikes’ of the 1980s and a number of prisoner escapes. After the signing of the ‘Good Friday Agreement’ in 1998 almost 500 paramilitary prisoners were released from the prison. Republicans still refer to the site as Long Kesh. Flynn, M. K., (2011). Decision-making and Contested Heritage in Northern Ireland: The Former Maze Prison/Long Kesh, Irish Political Studies, 26 (3), pp. 383-401. O'Hearn (2008), op. cit. TQ, Titanic Quarter Limited, (2010c). Titanic Quarter Housing - Meeting 1, Minutes from 12 August 2010, Titanic House, Queen’s Island , Belfast. DOE (2004c) Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP) 2015 Draft Plan November 2004 Parts 4 Volume 2 District Proposals Belfast. Belfast: DOE, p.105. The opening of Titanic Belfast attracted the attention of both the New York Times and LA Times: Dalby, D., (2012 Raising the Memory of the Titanic, and a City’s Role in Its Creation, New York Times Online, [online] 16 April. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/16/world/europe/belfast-embraces-the-titanic.html [Accessed 4 May 2012]; Stobart, J., (2012 Raising the Memory of the Titanic, and a City’s Role in Its Creation, New York Times Online, [online] 30 March. Available at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/03/the-titanic-belfast-opens.html [Accessed 4 May 2012] Northern Ireland Executive, (2007). The Titanic Signature Project misses out on making the final shortlist of the BIG Lottery Fund. [press release] 19 October 2007, Available at: < http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/news/news-deti/news-deti-october-2007/news-deti-191007-titanic-signature-project.htm> [Accessed 4 December 2008]. Northern Ireland Executive, (2008). The Executive continues to meet, discuss and develop proposals to redress hardship and stimulate the economy. [press release] 27 November 2008. Available at: <http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/media-centre/executive-statements/content-2711018-executive-creates-momentum.htm> [Accessed 4 December 2008]. Magee, K., (2012). Titanic Belfast : Will it rival Disneyland, Tate Modern and the Guggenheim?, BBC News Online, 29 March. Available at: <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-17552802> [Accessed 4 May 2012]. Addley, E. and McDonald, I., (2012). op. cit. Building Design, (2012). Carbuncle Cup 2012 shortlist. Building Design Online, [online] 22 July. Available at: <http://www.bdonline.co.uk/buildings/carbuncle-cup> [Accessed 7 July 2012]. Perec, G (2008) Species of Spaces. London: Penguin Classics, pp. 50-51. Jacobs, J., 1993. The death and life of great American cities. New York: Modern Library, p.50. Department for Social Development (DSD) (2010a) Area Profile of Inner East Belfast Neighbourhood Renewal Area (NRA). Available at: http://www.ninis.nisra.gov.uk/nra/Report.asp?NRAName=Inner%20East%20Belfast&devOffice=Belfast%20Regeneration%20Office [Accessed 1 May 2012] Northern Ireland Executive, (2010). Social Development Minister, Margaret Ritchie, today announced funds of £440,000 for a dynamic Housing Executive initiative across Northern Ireland. [press release] 21 January 2012, Available at: <http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/news/news-dsd/news-dsd-january-2010/news-dsd-210110-440000-boost-for.htm> Belfast City Council, (n.d.) Renewing the Routes. Available at: <http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/renewingtheroutes/pdfs/RenewingtheRoutesOverview.pdf> [Accessed 1 August 2012]. East Belfast Partnership, (2012). Newtownards Road Facade Improvement Launch: Fri 29 June [online] 26 June. Available at: < http://www.eastbelfastpartnership.org/news/3-news/167-newtownards-road-facade-improvement-launch-fri-29-june-.html> [Accessed 27 July 2012] In an interview with the author the organisers of the scheme admitted to the superficial limits of the scheme and their own frustration at not being able to do more. Information obtained through an interview with East Belfast Partnership, 14 June 2012. Northern Ireland Executive, (2012). Foster welcomes the Queen to Titanic Belfast. [press release] 27 June 2012, Available at: < http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/media-centre/news-departments/news-deti/news-releases-deti-june-2012/news-deti-270612-foster-welcomes-the.htm> [Accessed 20 July 2012]. Northern Ireland Audit Office, (2011). Northern Ireland Tourist Board – Review of the Signature Projects, BELFAST: The Stationery Office, p. 43. Northern Ireland Screen, (n.d.). The Paint Hall Film Studio. Available at: <http://www.northernirelandscreen.co.uk/sections/10/the-paint-hall-studio.aspx> [Accessed 27 July 2012] Coyles, D., (2009). op. cit. Statement from the Titanic Belfast website. Available at: <www.titanicbelfast.com/Navigation/The-Titanic-Experience.aspx> [Accessed on 24 July 2012]

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - This paper provides an architectural reflection on Titanic Quarter, a docklands urban regeneration scheme located in east Belfast, Northern Ireland, situated at the birthplace of the Titanic. This development exploits cultural associations with the titular ship and embodies a convergence of neo-liberal ideology and architectural branding that mark Titanic Quarter as an important material manifestation of a society in post-conflict transformation. Notwithstanding its status as a private enterprise, policy makers have embraced Titanic Quarter as a catalyst for urban renewal within inner-city east Belfast. This paper examines how the ideological approach underpinning Titanic Quarter has served to distance the consequent architectural response from the cultural context of east Belfast and the inherent regeneration challenge. The discussion reflects on the notion of economically driven regeneration within the wider context of neo-liberal regeneration and a Troubles-era and post-conflict Belfast. The paper explores the architectural iconography of the Titanic Quarter through a policy context, a cultural context and a material context of architectural forms and spaces. The reflection concludes by establishing that the variances in the public and private sector aspirations for the scheme dictate a lack of specificity to the architectural context of east Belfast.

AB - This paper provides an architectural reflection on Titanic Quarter, a docklands urban regeneration scheme located in east Belfast, Northern Ireland, situated at the birthplace of the Titanic. This development exploits cultural associations with the titular ship and embodies a convergence of neo-liberal ideology and architectural branding that mark Titanic Quarter as an important material manifestation of a society in post-conflict transformation. Notwithstanding its status as a private enterprise, policy makers have embraced Titanic Quarter as a catalyst for urban renewal within inner-city east Belfast. This paper examines how the ideological approach underpinning Titanic Quarter has served to distance the consequent architectural response from the cultural context of east Belfast and the inherent regeneration challenge. The discussion reflects on the notion of economically driven regeneration within the wider context of neo-liberal regeneration and a Troubles-era and post-conflict Belfast. The paper explores the architectural iconography of the Titanic Quarter through a policy context, a cultural context and a material context of architectural forms and spaces. The reflection concludes by establishing that the variances in the public and private sector aspirations for the scheme dictate a lack of specificity to the architectural context of east Belfast.

KW - Titanic

KW - urban regeneration

KW - post-conflict Belfast

KW - architectural branding

KW - cultural identity

KW - neo-liberal regeneration.

M3 - Other contribution

VL - TBC

ER -