Today saw the launch of a new Community Participation in Planning Project to explore how communities can be more meaningfully involved in shaping public services and local places.
The project will explore how communities of interest, place, practice and learning can get involved in local area planning and the new power of Community Planning. The project is a partnershIp between Ulster University, Community Places, University of Aveiro (Portugal) and Politecnico di Milano (Italy).
The project will help communities, service providers and local authorities across Northern Ireland, Portugal and Italy build stronger relationships and gain a better understanding of the relationship between people and place.
Launching the Project Belfast Lord Mayor, Cllr Arder Carson, said: “Today’s event is a great opportunity to exchange experience and learning between each of the partner countries taking part. There is much to learn from how things are done elsewhere and I am sure all participants will find this a very valuable opportunity.
Speaking at the Project launch, Louise O’Kane, Planner at Community Places, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to work with and share learning between European partners to develop innovative ways of engaging stakeholders in shaping local sevices and places for people. Each of the partner countries is undergoing reform. Here, the project will be taking place in an era of unprecedented change for local government with the transfer of planning functions and the introduction of Community Planning. These are important ‘place-shaping’ functions which will empower Councils across the region to make a real difference to people, places and the environment through improved service delivery, innovative and creative joint working; and more responsive and efficient local leadership and action. ”
Gavan Rafferty, Lecturer at Ulster University, said: “The project, supported by Erasmus+ is an important opportunity that will help communities understand, and get involved in, Area Planning and Community Planning so that better services, places and opportunities are developed for people. ”
Please contact us (9023 9444) if you would like to more information on the project.
Pictured below are Project Partners with Belfast's Lord Mayor, Arder Carson, at the Launch in the City Hall. Photograph by John Murphy (Aurora Photographic Agency)