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Saw this the other day...

Add more grassy areas and I'd be fully behind something like the above.
Yeah I was against the plans for city hall precisely because it removed too much grass. That idea is a few years old now, we have the lovely Titanic Memorial Garden in place so any new ideas would need to incorporate that.

Very supportive of the vision but needs to keep the lawns in some form and preferentially increase the size of them!

The more I think about that plan, the more I think it would be better to fully pedestrianize Donegall Square East and West, and leave Donegall Square North as a road, but with a large pedestrian crossing over to Donegall Place. There are too many awkward right angle turns in the indicative proposal.
Completely agree with this as well!

I would allow Glider to cut across Donegall Square North but that's it. Some work would also be required to facilitate loading access for the rear of M&S/Next and Castle Lane as well.
 

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This is my proposal. Really rushed paint job so it looks crap.


city hall
by hypnotoad24, on Flickr

  • Keep the two big lawns out the front of city hall but without the paths cutting through them.
  • Wide entrance path to City Hall from Donegall Place
  • Retain the trees presently surrounding City Hall
  • Grass areas down the side of City Hall, Cenotaph shown in black
  • Additional row of trees along the pedestrianised Donegall Square East and West
  • Grass areas in the middle of these double tree sections.
  • A fountain/water feature at the two corners on Donegall Square North.
 

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This is my proposal. Really rushed paint job so it looks crap.


city hall
by hypnotoad24, on Flickr

  • Keep the two big lawns out the front of city hall but without the paths cutting through them.
  • Wide entrance path to City Hall from Donegall Place
  • Retain the trees presently surrounding City Hall
  • Grass areas down the side of City Hall, Cenotaph shown in black
  • Additional row of trees along the pedestrianised Donegall Square East and West
  • Grass areas in the middle of these double tree sections.
  • A fountain/water feature at the two corners on Donegall Square North.
Yeah, that looks much better. I think somewhere in the grounds a mini amphitheatre type feature for outdoor performance, music, poetry, urban dance would create some movement and life in the space too.
 

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Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester always caught my eye as well. A water feature would look great at City Hall in the summer then converted to an outdoor skating rink in Winter/at Christmas.
 

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Maybe some of the money donated by Primark could get this much-needed phase started? The streets really need improvements now.
 

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Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester always caught my eye as well. A water feature would look great at City Hall in the summer then converted to an outdoor skating rink in Winter/at Christmas.
I have to say, on recent visits to Manchester, while there is an awful lot to be impressed with what is going on in the city, Piccadilly Gardens is an absolute disaster.

I've never seen the water feature switched on, it's just a dried up bed. The grass has the random shapes that you see in the Streets Ahead Plan for City Hall; as a result there are paths at awkward angles, and people cut across bits of grass and paths- pedestrian movement is disjointed. This also leads to sections of the grass being in a pretty bare condition too. And that wall around the back where the buses stop is just... crap.

Down the road a bit they have redeveloped Peters Square, which is magnificent in comparison.

The old Piccadilly Gardens looks like much better i think.

 

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Maybe some of the money donated by Primark could get this much-needed phase started? The streets really need improvements now.
I'd say that money will be gone pretty sharpish to support the retailers! Our atrocious politicians are the ones who should be sorting out the finances.
 

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Belfast City hall's grounds are completely fine as they are. I wouldn't change them at all. In the previous image, they have removed the gates of the City Hall, which are stunning looking, surely those are listed?

I think the focus should just be on pedestrianizing Donegall Square North and Royal Avenue and opening the whole area up to shoppers, stalls, traders and street performers. I just don't see the need for any traffic in this area. I realise the scheme is delayed, but I still can't help but think what a wasted opportunity it is when you have to cross at the lights and see one bus coming down Royal Avenue every 5 minutes. It has the potential to be about 100x more pleasant to walk down.

Public Realm works/Regeneration can look good, but at times it can look completely sterile and soulless which I find Picadilly Gardens and much of Manchester to be like. It just looks like a render in that picture. Everything is just too polished and angular to the point it doesn't look real. The trees actually look fake. I have been here and did not find it inviting in any way. City Hall grounds on the other hand are great, the gates, the walls, lampposts, benches, memorials. Favourite part of the city and hope it remains the same.
 

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Belfast City hall's grounds are completely fine as they are. I wouldn't change them at all. In the previous image, they have removed the gates of the City Hall, which are stunning looking, surely those are listed?

I think the focus should just be on pedestrianizing Donegall Square North and Royal Avenue and opening the whole area up to shoppers, stalls, traders and street performers.
Agreed. The gardens at City Hall could be extended to Donegal Square North, West and East, without removing the beautiful gates and railings around City Hall. Let buses and BRT go along DSQ South and pedestrianize Donegal Place and Royal Avenue. The safety cordon around Primark is the ideal opportunity to prove that pedestrianization is the way forward in that area.
 

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I do like the railings, and even though they're not original they do actually create a sense of Victorian grandeur. At the same time if they were to be removed to create a continental style European plaza it would be a worthy loss for such a fantastic potential public space.

Slightly unrelated, the link above offered a few glimpses of one of my absolute fav demolished buildings in the city centre, Kingscourt on Wellington Place. Carried the aesthetic vibe of an early prototype skyscraper. Needless to say that the replacement is an embarrassment.







Pray for our loss :nuts::lol:
 

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The pictures speak for themselves. Today's architects and developers are just completely lacking. Hopefully the tide changes and we get back to a position where beautiful buildings are designed and built by people who care about where they are building them.
 

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It's being held up because of a lack of an NI budget, the money is there but needs to be allocated to the project. The passing of an almost complete budget in Westminster may help.
Yeah, work will start this year, I think the contractor has been appointed recently but not 100% on that. The phase for around City Hall has been parked though so they can re-evaluate and re-design, which isn't a bad thing as I disliked their removal of the lawns.
Looks like Streets Ahead 3 has been put on the backburner for a time, in it's biggest time of need. Number of reasons cited including political stalemate, no decision making, no fund allocation and waiting to see outcome of karen bradley's new decision making bill etc.

£35m Belfast city centre plans still 'on the shelf' despite Primark fire pressures

https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/belfast-news/35m-belfast-city-centre-plans-15265118
 

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Expected but I also feel a bit relieved in some way that it hasn't started as the extensive excavation works and Primark fire cordon would have killed Royal Avenue.

Hopefully we'll see movement when the new budget allocation. It has ministerial and planning approval, just needs the capital funds allocation.
 

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For a few years now, the council has been collecting money from developers to enhance streets in the city centre, making it part of the process of receiving planning approval. The first one i remember hearing about was that the developer of the Maldron hotel had to make a contribution to improve the neighbouring Blackstaff Square. While we wait to see that get moving, coming up for approval at the planning committee is another of these initiatives, to improve College Street and College Court. The map below shows the streets that will be improved.

Work is estimated to cost £600k ,with developer contributions making up £476k. Despite not being part of Streets Ahead, the DfC will fund the remainder.

This effort is seen a template for how similar projects, such as the aforementioned Blackstaff Square, may be carried out in the future.

college court by hypnotoad24, on Flickr
 
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