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Belfast Healthy Cities

Our vision is that Belfast is recognised globally
as a healthy, equitable and sustainable city

Healthy Cities 21st Century

Lord Mayor Helps Children 'Plan a City' at Ulster Museum

As part of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) centenary celebrations, children in Belfast are being encouraged to think about the environment around them and how it has been shaped. The week-long event in the Ulster Museum is being staged in partnership with Belfast Healthy Cities, and the planning schools at Queens University and Ulster University, with sponsorship from the Department of the Environment, Belfast City Council and Eplani. The event sponsors and contributors are the Department of the Environment, Belfast City Council, Environmental and Planning Law Association of Northern Ireland (Eplani) and Bricks 4 Kidz.

Watch the 'Planning My City' Video

Photographs from 'Planning My City'

The event entitled ‘Planning My City’ provides an opportunity for young minds to demonstrate what they believe is required to produce a healthy and enjoyable city and how the different elements are brought together. Children are able to create a miniature city, based on Belfast which has been created by Ulster University architecture students and encouraged  to think about what the uses of buildings could be, where they should be located and how they would contribute to their own ‘dream city’.

Facilitated workshops help participants explore how a city is designed and how they can create their own ideal city.  The programme also includes arts and crafts, paper-bag houses, a photo wall, computer modelling/interactive areas, Lego ® workshops and free play suitable for all ages.

Belfast Lord Mayor, Cllr Nichola Mallon said: “This is a great initiative! Here’s hoping it will get our young people thinking about what makes a vibrant and healthy city that is an enjoyable place to live and visit.  It is encouraging to see so many children participating in this free, innovative event and I would encourage teachers and parents to come and get involved.   What better way to foster a better environment and stronger economy than to educate our children, through play, about their built environment from primary school age”.

RTPI NI Policy Officer Claire Williamson indicated ‘RTPI NI is excited to have had the opportunity to develop this project, the enthusiasm from the partners and sponsors is clear; it really has captured our imaginations.   We are enjoying being part of  what the children produce and  learning from them in addition to portraying a positive message about the role of planning in the creation of the built environment’.

Joan Devlin, Chief Executive, Belfast Healthy Cities  stated ‘This is an exciting opportunity for children who live in Belfast  to imagine the city as they would like it to be,  in a way that is fun while also encouraging them to learn about the role of planners.

‘Belfast Healthy Cities is particularly pleased to be involved, in partnership with RTPI, Queen’s University and Ulster University, as evidence shows that the quality of the built environment has a significant influence on the health and wellbeing of children. We already work with children on a number of projects and we know they are interested in their environment and an event like this is a great way to get them to think about how places can be improved. Who knows, perhaps some of the children taking part this week will become the healthy planners of the future.’