Northern Ireland news

Blueprint released for Belfast city centre post-Covid-19 recovery

Among the goals by 2035 is prioritised walking, cycling and public transport and barriers to movement removed with multiple crossing points across the River Lagan

EFFORTS to revitalise Belfast city centre are taking on a "new urgency" as a 'Bolder Vision' blueprint to make it greener, walkable and more people-focused is launched.

It is based on a joint study by the city council and departments of infrastructure and communities.

Lord Mayor Frank McCoubrey said "as the city begins its recovery post-Covid... there is renewed emphasis on how we use our city centre spaces safely, allowing for social distancing".

He said diversification "to ensure long term resilience" also needs to address "the urgent need to create a more sustainable, climate-resilient city to address issues around flooding, congestion and air quality".

Trials and pilot projects are "already in motion".

Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon said the plan "has taken on a new relevance and urgency as departments and the council are planning how they will work together with all civic stakeholders to recover from Covid-19 and build a cleaner, greener, stronger and more resilient city".

Communities minister Carál Ní Chuilín said "city centre businesses have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus crisis and the road to recovery presents a particular challenge that we must address".

Among the goals by 2035 is prioritised walking, cycling and public transport and barriers to movement removed with multiple crossing points across the River Lagan.

An action plan will be put out to public consultation later this year.

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