Belfast's River Lagan is the main river that flows through the city. While significant investment over the past two decades has attempted to make the Lagan waterfront an exciting place to live, work, and play for many in Belfast, additional work needs to be done to make the waterfront a desirable and ecologically functional place.
This proposal presents a plan for improving wildlife and civic connectivity along the waterfront. I established a conservation framework for waterfront planning and design by researching, mapping, and planning for wildlife in and around Belfast. I employed a focal species planning approach to plan a regional wildlife network connecting the Lagan with the open spaces within and outside of the city. I proposed a priority wildlife corridor along the east bank of the River Lagan and a secondary wildlife corridor on the west bank with respect to corridor implementation challenges. I articulated the character of the two corridors with a set of illustrated design guidelines.
Additionally, I selected four focus areas along River Lagan and analyzed pedestrian connectivity to the waterfront in each of these sites. I proposed an alternative land use configuration for each site and designated wildlife habitat zones connecting to the wildlife corridor.
Lastly, I selected one of the four focus areas, the Belfast Central Railway Station, and proposed a site design to connect with the wildlife corridor and improve connectivity to the waterfront. The site design would daylight the railway station, provide a backwater inlet to function as primary salmon breeding habitat, provide retail, commercial, and residential space in close proximity to rail, BRT, and the center city, and would include various civic amenities.
I conceived and designed the project after a trip to the city in January, 2011.