The Belfast Victorian Terrace: A Sustainable Approach?

Keith McAllister, Wayne Hazlett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    To help the building of new low-carbon housing, recent years have seen the widespread demolition of Victorian housing in UK cities. In this regard, Belfast is no different from its counterparts on the British mainland, where Compulsory Purchase Orders force people to sell and vacate their terraced homes to make way for newly constructed 'sustainable' housing. The global economic downturn has temporarily slowed down this process leaving many Belfast terraces now blocked up awaiting future demolition. This stay of execution is an unlikely but welcome opportunity to review and assess the true value to owner, streetscape and city of this important and common house-type. Important questions need to be asked. Should sound Victorian terraces be demolished? What is the genuine cost of demolition and replacement in terms of community and environment? With reference to case studies in a Belfast context, the argument will be made that new is not necessarily better, that the existing Victorian terrace is an important and valuable resource and one that, with intelligent intervention, offers a genuinely sustainable alternative to new-build housing.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)175-188
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Development & Sustainability; Sustainable Housing; Community Identity; Urban Settlement

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Sociology and Political Science


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