The Spatial legacy of Conflict

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The Spatial legacy of Conflict:The material impact of The Troubles on the streets of inner-city East Belfast, 1969 – 1994.The Troubles is a term used to describe the social-historical phenomenon occurring between 1969 and 1994 when the sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland was at its most extreme. Its influence was such that it has had profound impact on the social, political, economic, cultural and spatial structures of Northern Ireland ever since. In such a context cultural and political forces can become plainly manifest through architecture and the built environment and the subsequent reaction by government, security and statutory authorities resulted in a substantial material impact within inner-city communities creating spatial fragmentation and disconnection. This paper illuminates a specific, discrete and barely recognised aspect of this material legacy, now embedded in the public realm: architectural artefacts throughout inner-city Belfast that mitigate against vehicular flow and pedestrian movement, dividing streets and disrupting connections spatially. These interventions are not the widely recognised ‘peace walls’ between communities, rather, they are the legacy of interventions employed within individual communities as a security reaction against the free movement of persons within an area once prevalent with paramilitary activity. Using the exemplar of ‘Ballymacarrett’, East Belfast, this paper outlines new research conducted through a UK Arts & Humanities Research Council funded project led by the author. The paper documents the contemporary material impact of these artefacts and the associated historical narrative utilising methodologies based in architectural practice. A spatial analysis of the material impact of these artefacts is presented and the paper discusses evidence gathered from key government and community stakeholders brought together uniquely through this research to document the historical narrative linking the contemporary public realm artefacts to the historical spatial interventions undertaken by security agencies during The Troubles. The paper concludes by outlining the government-community stakeholder working group that has emerged from the research to pursue policy change relating to these artefacts.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Number of pages50
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2012
EventThird International Conference On Urban and Extraurban Studies: Space & Flows - Wayne State University, Detroit, USA.
Duration: 12 Oct 2012 → …

Conference

ConferenceThird International Conference On Urban and Extraurban Studies: Space & Flows
Period12/10/12 → …

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artifact
community
stakeholder
narrative
working group
pedestrian
fragmentation
peace
art
human being
methodology
evidence
economics

Keywords

  • Conflict
  • Urban Design
  • Contested Cities
  • Belfast
  • The Troubles
  • Architecture

Cite this

Coyles, D. (2012). The Spatial legacy of Conflict. In Unknown Host Publication
Coyles, David. / The Spatial legacy of Conflict. Unknown Host Publication. 2012.
@inproceedings{93f79c3796e54e3487acca73281cb609,
title = "The Spatial legacy of Conflict",
abstract = "The Spatial legacy of Conflict:The material impact of The Troubles on the streets of inner-city East Belfast, 1969 – 1994.The Troubles is a term used to describe the social-historical phenomenon occurring between 1969 and 1994 when the sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland was at its most extreme. Its influence was such that it has had profound impact on the social, political, economic, cultural and spatial structures of Northern Ireland ever since. In such a context cultural and political forces can become plainly manifest through architecture and the built environment and the subsequent reaction by government, security and statutory authorities resulted in a substantial material impact within inner-city communities creating spatial fragmentation and disconnection. This paper illuminates a specific, discrete and barely recognised aspect of this material legacy, now embedded in the public realm: architectural artefacts throughout inner-city Belfast that mitigate against vehicular flow and pedestrian movement, dividing streets and disrupting connections spatially. These interventions are not the widely recognised ‘peace walls’ between communities, rather, they are the legacy of interventions employed within individual communities as a security reaction against the free movement of persons within an area once prevalent with paramilitary activity. Using the exemplar of ‘Ballymacarrett’, East Belfast, this paper outlines new research conducted through a UK Arts & Humanities Research Council funded project led by the author. The paper documents the contemporary material impact of these artefacts and the associated historical narrative utilising methodologies based in architectural practice. A spatial analysis of the material impact of these artefacts is presented and the paper discusses evidence gathered from key government and community stakeholders brought together uniquely through this research to document the historical narrative linking the contemporary public realm artefacts to the historical spatial interventions undertaken by security agencies during The Troubles. The paper concludes by outlining the government-community stakeholder working group that has emerged from the research to pursue policy change relating to these artefacts.",
keywords = "Conflict, Urban Design, Contested Cities, Belfast, The Troubles, Architecture",
author = "David Coyles",
note = "Reference text: Belfast architect and academic, Ciaran Mackle, writing in his 2011 essay Impact of the conflict on public space and architecture (Belfast: Arts Council of Northern Ireland), reflects the assumptions felt by many that the redevelopment was, in part, a response to security consciousness. Within the case study context of the Inner-East, residents spoke in passing of a wide held belief that their streets were redeveloped and closed off ‘because of the police’. Cowan, R. (1982) Belfast’s Hidden Planners, Town and Country Planning, 51(6), pp. 163-167 and Dawson, G., (1984). Defensive Planning in Belfast, Irish Geography, 17 (1), pp.27-41 are two key texts from the Troubles-era that reiterate the terminology of Defensive Planning. Such conclusions are reiterated within the more contemporary Mackle, Ciaran. (2011). Impact of the conflict on public space and architecture, Belfast: Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Newman, O., (1972). Defensible Space: People and Design in the Violent City. London: Architectural Press, pp.78 – 101. Beckett, J.C. and Glasscock, R.E., (1967). Belfast: Origin and growth if an industrial city, London: British Broadcasting Corporation, p.111. Bollens, S., (1999). op. cit. p.55. Shirlow, P. and Murtagh, B., (2006). Belfast: Segregation, Violence and the City. London: Pluto Press. 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] Newman, P. and Thornley, A. (1996) ‘Great Britain—the legacy of Thatcherism’, Urban Planning in Europe. London and New York: Routledge, pp.111-125. Statement made by former high-level Northern Ireland civil servant in Bollens, S., (1999), op. cit., p.67. Bollens, S., (1999), op. cit., pp.69 - 77. Within Northern Ireland political history the Catholic and Protestant community have a nomenclature that distinguishes politicians and paramilitary organisations within both ethnic groupings. Protestants traditionally are represented by Unionist political parties that express allegiance to the British Government and recognise the Queen of England as the head of state. Paramilitary organisations from this tradition, though not necessarily representative of the Protestant community, are called Loyalists. Catholic communities are traditionally represented by both moderate Nationalist parties and Republican politicians who seek unification of the North of Ireland with the independent Ireland to the south. With the advent of the 1997 peace accord and the inclusion of republican politicians in government, active paramilitaries operating under nationalist beliefs are termed Dissident Republicans. In The Rape and Plunder of the Shankill in Belfast: People and Planning (Notaems Press, Belfast, 1976), Ron Wiener provides an emotional account of what was viewed by many residents and local Unionist politicians as a deliberate attempt by the state to disrupt and vanquish this inner-city community. Information obtained from interview with area manager working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on April 13th 2012. Information obtained from interview with area manager working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on April 13th 2012. Interview with Architect working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on May 21st 2012. Information obtained from interview with area manager working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on April 13th 2012. Information obtained from interview with area manager working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on April 13th 2012. Alcorn, D., (1982). Who Plans Belfast?, Scope, April Vol. 52, pp.4-6. Beresford, D., (1982). Security Forces build on Belfast’s sectarian divide, The Guardian, 13th March. Correspondence from British Army officials relating to active operations in Troubles-era Northern Ireland, obtained under the United Kingdom Freedom of Information Act, 2000. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s systems of checkpoints existed on primary infrastructure routes between the inner-city and the commercial core. Traditionally these were manned by police and army officers and in instances included concrete ‘sangars’ (secure bunker-like structures) and vehicular control gates. . Brown, S., (1985a). Central Belfast’s security segment: an urban phenomena, Area, 17 (1), pp.1-9. Brown, S., (1985b). City centre commercial revitalisation: the Belfast experience. The Planner, 71 (5), p9. Correspondence from British Army officials relating to active operations in Troubles-era Northern Ireland, obtained under the United Kingdom Freedom of Information Act, 2000. Image from: Brown, S., (1985a). Central Belfast’s security segment: an urban phenomena, Area, 17 (1), pp.1-9. Woonerf, meaning ‘Living Street’ in Dutch, is a design principle that utilises a shared surface approach between motorcars and pedestrians although pedestrians have priority. This principle is enacted through a variety of design tactics. In the United States the 1981 book Liveable Spaces by Donald Appleyard helped bring the principles of the Woonerf, as a means of delivering safe, quality urban residential spaces, to a wider audience. The Essex design Guide was first published by Essex County Council, United Kingdom in 1973 as a reaction by Essex County planners as a reaction to what they viewed as the ill considered development trends evident in the area at that time. The guide drew upon the planning principles of Gordon Cullen as described in his 1961 book Townscape (London: Architectural Press) and has become known for its espousal of the cul-de-sac as a fundamental residential urban design principle. From: Goodey, B., (1998). The Essex Design Guide Revisited, Town and Country Planning, 67 (5), pp.176-178. See note 2. Interview with Architect working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on May 21st 2012. Ibid. Interview with Architect working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on May 17th 2012. Information obtained from interview with area manager working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on April 13th 2012. Interview with a former planner working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on June 11th 2012. Interview with Architect working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on May 21st 2012.",
year = "2012",
month = "10",
day = "12",
language = "English",
booktitle = "Unknown Host Publication",

}

Coyles, D 2012, The Spatial legacy of Conflict. in Unknown Host Publication. Third International Conference On Urban and Extraurban Studies: Space & Flows, 12/10/12.

The Spatial legacy of Conflict. / Coyles, David.

Unknown Host Publication. 2012.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

TY - GEN

T1 - The Spatial legacy of Conflict

AU - Coyles, David

N1 - Reference text: Belfast architect and academic, Ciaran Mackle, writing in his 2011 essay Impact of the conflict on public space and architecture (Belfast: Arts Council of Northern Ireland), reflects the assumptions felt by many that the redevelopment was, in part, a response to security consciousness. Within the case study context of the Inner-East, residents spoke in passing of a wide held belief that their streets were redeveloped and closed off ‘because of the police’. Cowan, R. (1982) Belfast’s Hidden Planners, Town and Country Planning, 51(6), pp. 163-167 and Dawson, G., (1984). Defensive Planning in Belfast, Irish Geography, 17 (1), pp.27-41 are two key texts from the Troubles-era that reiterate the terminology of Defensive Planning. Such conclusions are reiterated within the more contemporary Mackle, Ciaran. (2011). Impact of the conflict on public space and architecture, Belfast: Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Newman, O., (1972). Defensible Space: People and Design in the Violent City. London: Architectural Press, pp.78 – 101. Beckett, J.C. and Glasscock, R.E., (1967). Belfast: Origin and growth if an industrial city, London: British Broadcasting Corporation, p.111. Bollens, S., (1999). op. cit. p.55. Shirlow, P. and Murtagh, B., (2006). Belfast: Segregation, Violence and the City. London: Pluto Press. 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] Newman, P. and Thornley, A. (1996) ‘Great Britain—the legacy of Thatcherism’, Urban Planning in Europe. London and New York: Routledge, pp.111-125. Statement made by former high-level Northern Ireland civil servant in Bollens, S., (1999), op. cit., p.67. Bollens, S., (1999), op. cit., pp.69 - 77. Within Northern Ireland political history the Catholic and Protestant community have a nomenclature that distinguishes politicians and paramilitary organisations within both ethnic groupings. Protestants traditionally are represented by Unionist political parties that express allegiance to the British Government and recognise the Queen of England as the head of state. Paramilitary organisations from this tradition, though not necessarily representative of the Protestant community, are called Loyalists. Catholic communities are traditionally represented by both moderate Nationalist parties and Republican politicians who seek unification of the North of Ireland with the independent Ireland to the south. With the advent of the 1997 peace accord and the inclusion of republican politicians in government, active paramilitaries operating under nationalist beliefs are termed Dissident Republicans. In The Rape and Plunder of the Shankill in Belfast: People and Planning (Notaems Press, Belfast, 1976), Ron Wiener provides an emotional account of what was viewed by many residents and local Unionist politicians as a deliberate attempt by the state to disrupt and vanquish this inner-city community. Information obtained from interview with area manager working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on April 13th 2012. Information obtained from interview with area manager working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on April 13th 2012. Interview with Architect working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on May 21st 2012. Information obtained from interview with area manager working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on April 13th 2012. Information obtained from interview with area manager working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on April 13th 2012. Alcorn, D., (1982). Who Plans Belfast?, Scope, April Vol. 52, pp.4-6. Beresford, D., (1982). Security Forces build on Belfast’s sectarian divide, The Guardian, 13th March. Correspondence from British Army officials relating to active operations in Troubles-era Northern Ireland, obtained under the United Kingdom Freedom of Information Act, 2000. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s systems of checkpoints existed on primary infrastructure routes between the inner-city and the commercial core. Traditionally these were manned by police and army officers and in instances included concrete ‘sangars’ (secure bunker-like structures) and vehicular control gates. . Brown, S., (1985a). Central Belfast’s security segment: an urban phenomena, Area, 17 (1), pp.1-9. Brown, S., (1985b). City centre commercial revitalisation: the Belfast experience. The Planner, 71 (5), p9. Correspondence from British Army officials relating to active operations in Troubles-era Northern Ireland, obtained under the United Kingdom Freedom of Information Act, 2000. Image from: Brown, S., (1985a). Central Belfast’s security segment: an urban phenomena, Area, 17 (1), pp.1-9. Woonerf, meaning ‘Living Street’ in Dutch, is a design principle that utilises a shared surface approach between motorcars and pedestrians although pedestrians have priority. This principle is enacted through a variety of design tactics. In the United States the 1981 book Liveable Spaces by Donald Appleyard helped bring the principles of the Woonerf, as a means of delivering safe, quality urban residential spaces, to a wider audience. The Essex design Guide was first published by Essex County Council, United Kingdom in 1973 as a reaction by Essex County planners as a reaction to what they viewed as the ill considered development trends evident in the area at that time. The guide drew upon the planning principles of Gordon Cullen as described in his 1961 book Townscape (London: Architectural Press) and has become known for its espousal of the cul-de-sac as a fundamental residential urban design principle. From: Goodey, B., (1998). The Essex Design Guide Revisited, Town and Country Planning, 67 (5), pp.176-178. See note 2. Interview with Architect working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on May 21st 2012. Ibid. Interview with Architect working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on May 17th 2012. Information obtained from interview with area manager working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on April 13th 2012. Interview with a former planner working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on June 11th 2012. Interview with Architect working for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the Troubles era. Interview conducted on May 21st 2012.

PY - 2012/10/12

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N2 - The Spatial legacy of Conflict:The material impact of The Troubles on the streets of inner-city East Belfast, 1969 – 1994.The Troubles is a term used to describe the social-historical phenomenon occurring between 1969 and 1994 when the sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland was at its most extreme. Its influence was such that it has had profound impact on the social, political, economic, cultural and spatial structures of Northern Ireland ever since. In such a context cultural and political forces can become plainly manifest through architecture and the built environment and the subsequent reaction by government, security and statutory authorities resulted in a substantial material impact within inner-city communities creating spatial fragmentation and disconnection. This paper illuminates a specific, discrete and barely recognised aspect of this material legacy, now embedded in the public realm: architectural artefacts throughout inner-city Belfast that mitigate against vehicular flow and pedestrian movement, dividing streets and disrupting connections spatially. These interventions are not the widely recognised ‘peace walls’ between communities, rather, they are the legacy of interventions employed within individual communities as a security reaction against the free movement of persons within an area once prevalent with paramilitary activity. Using the exemplar of ‘Ballymacarrett’, East Belfast, this paper outlines new research conducted through a UK Arts & Humanities Research Council funded project led by the author. The paper documents the contemporary material impact of these artefacts and the associated historical narrative utilising methodologies based in architectural practice. A spatial analysis of the material impact of these artefacts is presented and the paper discusses evidence gathered from key government and community stakeholders brought together uniquely through this research to document the historical narrative linking the contemporary public realm artefacts to the historical spatial interventions undertaken by security agencies during The Troubles. The paper concludes by outlining the government-community stakeholder working group that has emerged from the research to pursue policy change relating to these artefacts.

AB - The Spatial legacy of Conflict:The material impact of The Troubles on the streets of inner-city East Belfast, 1969 – 1994.The Troubles is a term used to describe the social-historical phenomenon occurring between 1969 and 1994 when the sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland was at its most extreme. Its influence was such that it has had profound impact on the social, political, economic, cultural and spatial structures of Northern Ireland ever since. In such a context cultural and political forces can become plainly manifest through architecture and the built environment and the subsequent reaction by government, security and statutory authorities resulted in a substantial material impact within inner-city communities creating spatial fragmentation and disconnection. This paper illuminates a specific, discrete and barely recognised aspect of this material legacy, now embedded in the public realm: architectural artefacts throughout inner-city Belfast that mitigate against vehicular flow and pedestrian movement, dividing streets and disrupting connections spatially. These interventions are not the widely recognised ‘peace walls’ between communities, rather, they are the legacy of interventions employed within individual communities as a security reaction against the free movement of persons within an area once prevalent with paramilitary activity. Using the exemplar of ‘Ballymacarrett’, East Belfast, this paper outlines new research conducted through a UK Arts & Humanities Research Council funded project led by the author. The paper documents the contemporary material impact of these artefacts and the associated historical narrative utilising methodologies based in architectural practice. A spatial analysis of the material impact of these artefacts is presented and the paper discusses evidence gathered from key government and community stakeholders brought together uniquely through this research to document the historical narrative linking the contemporary public realm artefacts to the historical spatial interventions undertaken by security agencies during The Troubles. The paper concludes by outlining the government-community stakeholder working group that has emerged from the research to pursue policy change relating to these artefacts.

KW - Conflict

KW - Urban Design

KW - Contested Cities

KW - Belfast

KW - The Troubles

KW - Architecture

M3 - Conference contribution

BT - Unknown Host Publication

ER -

Coyles D. The Spatial legacy of Conflict. In Unknown Host Publication. 2012