Friday, March 10, 2006

Titanic Quarter

So I don't know if you've heard much about the development ideas laid down for rejuvenating the Titanic area in Belfast but here is some information about it.

I love those architectural designs showing what the building and surrounding area is going to look like because they must use a delusional pen of dreams to carve out a ficticious image in a vain attempt to attract business and property seekers. I have my doubts about yachts sailing around and tall beautiful women cooking meals. Seems like a Carlsberg advertisement. "Carlsberg don't do Titanic Quarter revitalisation...but if we did." I believe we'll end up with a Harp reality. The Titanic Quarter sparkles bright....but leaves a nasty taste in your mouth after a few sips.

Have a look at their interactive map. Nothing like mixing high design flats with huge commercial parks and light industry "providing the environment for both new and existing companies to grow and develop". The scheme's lead architect, the American Eric Kuhnethe stated that the development will contain a pattern of parks, streets and gardens and the localised retail, healthcare, and educational facilities will be designed to build a community centred on genuine social interaction and shared values. Shared values? Surely he must have the wrong city? With half of Belfast and thousands of tourists walking walking through the district to enjoy these new main attractions of a science park of which there seems to be very sketchy details, more pubs, cafés and clubs, is it really going to result in genuine social interaction?

In a recent Belfast Telegraph article Simon O'Reilly of London based global real estate consultants Cushman and Wakefield stated that Belfast's economy has transformed over the past 10 years and continually punches above its weight when it comes to promoting the city's investment opportunities. But the question is, can it deliver?

Call me ultra-pessimistic but I'll believe it when I see it. Belfast has come along way in a very short time and the city really needs this so I hope in 10 years time I will eat my words. The scheme is expected to provide about 3,000 jobs during construction and 3,000 permanent posts upon completion would be a great thing. I hope.

Watch that space!


Blogger Skry said...

I have to agree with you there bro. Usually buildings look nothing like that - I mean they always go overboard on how the area will look litter-free with the sun shining and blue sky. THIS IS BELFAST!

Seriously, the yacht thing is just a joke and there are extremely sketchy details on the science park. "£100 million investment to make it the centre for knowledge-based research." Great. So who are you getting in there? How many companies can you fit in? What sort of knowledge-based industries do you even mean? There's a picture of a guy in a lab with a face mask and body suit conducting some weird experiment, but the reality is that knowledge-based research means anything from working in a library to curing AIDS.

All in all I hope that it pans out well - the Oddessy and Waterfront Hall both look great and do their jobs well. A few more buildings like that would be excellent and I, like you bro, hope that I'm eating humble pie in 10 years time. But I'm sure that some of the buildings won't be made as shown there, others will run overtime and the cost of the whole lot will likely be a lot more than budgeted for.

Here's to Belfast's eternal optimism!

Note: optimism excludes writer of this Blog

12:54 am  

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