2015: Cancer Focus NI

Client: Cancer Focus NI

Project: Area assessment: Healthy design

Student Group: Brendan George, Paul Marner (MArch 1); Awashyak Shrestha, Darren Lynass, Kaitlin Bartlett (BSc 1)

The client’s brief: Assess the area in terms of how it facilitates a range of activities which support cancer prevention. Consider how the area could be developed to support people to reduce their cancer risk. Come up with suggestions and design ideas which might contribute to this goal based on international best practice in terms of designing for health. Create a map of the area which might include ideas/areas for architectural interventions where changes in design or other modifications would support healthy behaviours. Consider/ illustrate how it would be possible to connect the area to the Greenway. Create some sketches of how the area might look if some of the proposed changes were implemented.

The group response: “As a group we decided that research was going to be important in order to put reasoning behind any decisions. When we realised that causes of cancer involved leading an unhealthy lifestyle and we thought it important to encourage a healthy lifestyle by means of being active outdoors and eating healthy foods such as vegetables. We carried out the research in sub teams which meant we were able to collate the information and come up with a thought out proposal based on the results of the research as well as go into design activities with a good starting point.

“The group analysed possible sites to accommodate proposed activities which prevent most cancer. The group decided to stage the attack on the micro and macro scales. This ranged from a master plan to looking at the vegetables that we would put in allotments. Research has proven the best prevention of cancer developing is a healthy diet of vegetables and exercise. East Belfast is fractured from the rest of the city. Belfast has a huge amount of commuters by car so the group proposed a safe green direct cycle lane to the city that links the existing Connswater & Comber greenways. This allows stress-less commutes, exercise & an efficient transport link to culminate.”

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