Rachael Black

Rachael Black

20082021

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Research Focus

The participation of children growing up in contested areas is key to unlock the full potential of spaces which exist behind ‘physical and mental barriers’. Visioning spaces through a younger lens would incorporate untainted perspectives on neighbourhood places. This research project is part of the Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership (NINE DTP) funded by the Economic and Social Research Council with support from the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland (DfENI). This research will explore the views of children who live in interface localities facing deprivation in Belfast. It will analyse children’s perception and usage of interface sites;  how they are currently consulted as part of planning and regeneration processes and how different consultation approaches could be utilised to harness the creative potential of the younger generation in the reimagining of interface communities.

Research Question: Co-designing a Shared Future: How Can Children be a part of Reimagining Belfast’s Interfaces?

Overall this research aims to answer: How can children’s voices be heard as part of the process of reimagining interface areas?

The following objectives will be used in order to achieve this aim:

OBJ1: To contextualise how interface communities have developed over time physically, socially, culturally and economically and identify, investigate and evaluate spaces at interface locations.

OBJ2: Evaluate and analyse existing policy and practice on how children are currently consulted as part of planning and regeneration processes.

OBJ3: Understand how children look at the current affordances and their independent mobility within their communities to assess the current child friendliness of interface sites and immediate surroundings.

OBJ4: Gather innovative solutions to chosen sites within interface areas through child friendly workshops incorporating appropriate interactive design methods.

OBJ5: Design a visioning strategy for sites based on the children’s input with policy recommendations and evaluate the success of the child-led approach analysing the effectiveness of each method used.

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