For the Achievement of Valued Places for People through Design

Emily Hadden, Susan Coates

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    Abstract

    This review aims to provide information to assist the management of valued places through good design through core strategies of local authorities in a reformed Northern Ireland planning system.Current CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) documentation, ‘Planning for Places’, advocates an approach to planning for the design of places which is parallel to the approach already embodied within the European Landscape Convention (which became legally binding in the UK in 2006). Nation states signing up to the European Landscape Convention are obliged to identify and ‘characterise’ all landscapes within their boundaries, evaluate and define objectives for them, and track and manage change within them. The authors maintain that the terms place and landscape are interchangeable; both result from the interaction between human communities in specific environments (see fig. 1). The European Landscape Convention enacts a process of visioning and management of change, and as such the authors advise its adoption as a design process in Northern Ireland for the achievement of valued places and landscapes. A brief review of steps taken throughout the UK and Ireland towards the implementation of the European Landscape Convention illustrates that despite the characterisation of all landscapes in Northern Ireland for the Department of the Environment (NI) in 2000, full implementation of the process embodied in the European Landscape Convention is inadequate. The authors advocate that a body in Northern Ireland should be clearly responsible for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention in Northern Ireland, and task that body to work for the achievement of valued places and landscapes through its processes (as in the examples reviewed in UK and Ireland). The authors attest that a ‘gap’ analysis should be urgently undertaken to evaluate where the requirements of the European Landscape Convention are not being met in Northern Ireland. The authors reiterate statements by the Ministerial Advisory Group for Architecture and the Built Environment in Northern Ireland (MAG) and the Landscape Institute Northern Ireland branch (LINI) that, in order to achieve valued places and landscapes, it is essential to retain design expertise within the planning process. The authors perceive the current planning reform in Northern Ireland to be an opportunity to address the obligations of the European Landscape Convention and to successfully work to the achievement of valued places and landscapes in Northern Ireland.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherUnknown Publisher
    Number of pages32
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

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