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A Titanic misrepresentation of architectural and spatial specificity

Coyles, David (2013) A Titanic misrepresentation of architectural and spatial specificity. In: Annual UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference. University of the West of England. 52 pp. [Conference contribution]

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This paper examines the critical juncture between architecture, planning and community, through the case study of east Belfast, Northern Ireland, and its historic associations with the great ship Titanic. Reportedly second only to Coca-Cola in global recognition, brand-Titanic has been affirmed by community, corporate and public interests to regenerate the built environment of Belfast. However, this paper hypothesises that the supremacy of the Titanic brand serves to obscure the authentic condition of culture and space in east Belfast. The paper posits a condition of 're-place', where cultural narratives have been rewritten at the expense of architectural and spatial specificity. This is most evident where the ambitions of strategic redevelopment policy frameworks have embraced the private-sector 'Titanic Quarter' urban regeneration scheme as the catalyst for inner-city renewal. Through observations, fieldwork, interviews, policy review and spatial analysis, this paper critiques a particularly pragmatic application of the neoliberal regeneration model that appropriates the celebrity of brand-Titanic whilst failing to bridge the related frontier between architectural and planning strategy, and urban renewal needs. The paper concludes by challenging an almost subliminal acceptance of this state of affairs, illustrating an ‘Orwellian’ profusion of brand-Titanic and its unchallenged and continued re-placement of urban space in Belfast.

Item Type:Conference contribution (Paper)
Keywords:Belfast; the Troubles; post-Conflict; Neoliberal; Regeneration; Branding
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment
Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment > The Belfast School of Architecture
Research Institutes and Groups:Art and Design Research Institute > Space and Place
Art and Design Research Institute
ID Code:34140
Deposited By: Mr David Coyles
Deposited On:06 Apr 2016 15:38
Last Modified:06 Apr 2016 15:38

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