Techies in Residence - DTNI and Place
Developments Trust NI are a member led organisation that help encourage asset transfer among community groups, highlighting the benefits and risks, and disseminating learning from other parts of the UK.
Development Trusts is a model for community asset ownership to promote the revitalisation of areas that have experienced massive economic decline.
DTNI help communities establish these, as well as point out to VCSE organisations what government owned assets could be available for repurpose. Place (Planning, Landscape, Architecture, Community Environment) is dedicated to the making of great places in Northern Ireland.
A multi-disciplined team is responsible for architecture, town planning, visual arts, education, community engagement and event management.
The Problem- Who Owns the City?
The ownership of city land and buildings has major implications on equity, democratic action, and social justice.
Current trends indicate a shrinking of the public estate towards increasingly private ownership, and this shift has serious impacts on how development happens, how housing provision is managed, and how urban space can be used by citizens.
The privatisation of cities also disrupts the fabric of urban space, breaking up existing networks of streets and limiting public access to what was previously public space.
The increased commodification of public spaces makes places more homogenous, more enclosed, and less responsive to the needs of its citizens.
Information about the ownership of space in Northern Ireland is not currently readily available, easy to find and open.
Both PLACE and DTNI have been working with the third sector for years, responding to bottom-up demand for better access to spaces, both public and private for non-commercial use.
This should be represented in an online resource that will show an accurate representation of ownership, firstly in Belfast, but eventually across Northern Ireland. This resource should create a clear pathway to community ownership, civic action and informed critique of planning and development processes.