What we did in Belfast
The Belfast urban room focused on hearing voices that are often excluded from conversations about the city centre.
Working with partners, we created “Your City Your Voice Belfast” and took as our central conversation piece the six Quality of Life Foundation Framework themes: Control, Health, Nature, Wonder, Movement, and Belonging.
This set of themes was intended to provide a more open platform to start conversations across a range of issues from future housing and shared public spaces to climate change, ageing, youth, and more broadly inclusive future development.
“Your City Your Voice Belfast” was a partnership with Belfast City Council. The urban room operated weekdays and weekends with a combination of dedicated exhibitions on the Quality of Life Themes, CCQOL research, and contributions from local craftspersons, community groups, and from both Ulster and Queen’s University Belfast.
Who we spoke to
In total, the combined effort of our team, the council and numerous supporting organisations brought over 6,500 people to the urban room.
Online, our Commonplace-managed website had over 480 contributions to maps and surveys from over 1250 visits.
What’s happening now?
Since the room officially finished at the end of September, the Your City Your Voice Belfast team has continued with a number of outreach workshops, requested by community groups and by Ulster University, to continue and deepen conversations.
Now, we are working through all the information we’ve gathered and compiling a breakdown of visitors, survey participants, and mapping data to share back to all our registered supporters.
We also are developing a short film created during some of our events to share even more of the range of activities, participants, and learning the room has already provided for the team, which will go forward to future reports and CCQOL findings.
What will we do with what we’ve learned?
We will be sharing what we’ve learned both locally (across our Belfast and Northern Ireland stakeholders) and through the national CCQOL project publications.
We will share an overview report early in 2023 and then a ‘national’ report with both desktop reviews of engagement practices in Northern Ireland and our more complete analysis including first-hand feedback from participants and post-room surveys/interviews.
We hope that our body of work, along with the reports and blogs produced by our CCQOL colleagues will help to bolster conversations around public consultation and community engagement, and provide unique insights on how to tackle marginalisation in the many complex conversations about how our cities, towns, and neighbourhoods develop more sustainably and inclusively in the future.
How can people get involved?
For those still interested to contribute, visit the Your City Your Voice website. There is still time to complete our survey and add to our quality-of-life mapping too.
If you would like to receive future updates directly and are happy to let us securely hold your contact details, please let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also welcome emailed feedback and any further interest in our engagement workshops. Please email us and we’ll be in touch.