StreetSpace is a research and teaching project at the School of Architecture at Queen's University Belfast. StreetSpace works in collaboration with academia, government and local communities to analyse streets and fulfil their potential to be people-centred, accessible and inclusive public places.
The project investigates the significance of local mixed streets through their urban form, histories and experiences. It establishes links with other disciplines and seeks to enable the dialogue between academia, policy and the public thorough the organisation of local workshops, symposia and exhibitions.
Mixed use streets are complex and connect diverse areas of the city. They have evolved slowly through history, but can be radically transformed by redevelopment. Scholars value their plurality, diversity and authenticity; while urban designers and planners value their physical aspects, often overlooking the social construct of the people who use them. On the other hand, policy makers look for the social, economical and political value of mixed use streets. To be able to bridge this gap between academia, practice and policy we need to understand all these values. So, how can we study streets beyond the usual tools of built environment professionals? StreetSpace seeks to understand the significance of mixed use streets, by analysing their physical, historical and experiential aspects. It explores streets with a rich mix of uses, with complex histories and especially those that risk losing their distinctive identities.
The project began in 2011 with the graphic analysis of streets in plan and section. It has evolved to include different types of analysis coming from disciplines as diverse as sociology, history, geography, sound, art, as well as architecture and urban design. The street section project workshops were held in Belfast, Buenos Aires, Edinburgh and Kilkenny. This exercise has enhanced local student’s understanding of the role of streets in the urban landscape while building a critical mass of examples to inform the analysis. The more complex interdisciplinary workshop has been carried out in Belfast (2015/16/17/18), London (2017) Naples (2017) Ljubljana (2018) and Lisbon (2019).
Videos workshops and symposium:
Latest work: Sailortown: