Belfast’s peace lines and potential directions for local planning

Brendan Murtagh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The ambiguities and contradictions embodied in Belfast's peace lines provide the central empirical focus for this chapter. The acceleration of segregation after the outbreak of civil disorder in 1969 was characterised by a desperate spatial sorting process that left jagged and uncomfortable edges to ethnic territory. The use of walls to manage the worst of these is one of the most enduring social and physical images of violence in Northern Ireland. In his attempt to classify urban walls, Marcuse drew a distinction between functions of oppression, isolation and control and those of protection, insulation and community reinforcement. This chapter locates Belfast's peace lines in the latter context.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEthnicity Housing
Subtitle of host publicationAccommodating the Differences
PublisherTaylor and Francis - Balkema
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781351812221
ISBN (Print)9781315211282
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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