For the 2016 edition of Street Society Queen’s teamed up with the Urban Villages Initiative and local community organisations in Belfast and Derry-Londonderry.
Students of architecture, music, sonic arts and anthropology were based in the five Urban Villages in Northern Ireland, working on projects identified by local community organisations. The overarching themes for Street Society 2016 were ‘Health and Wellbeing’ and ‘Sustainable Economic Developement’.
Teams of students worked on projects for Footprints Women’s Centre, Dunmurry, the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, Lagmore residents and the Urban Villages team to produce plans to meet community needs in West Belfast.
In North Belfast, the team worked on health, social and environmental projects in the Ardoyne, Ballysillan, and Marrowbone areas, paving the way for further projects and services attuned to the needs of the local community.
South Belfast saw the development of plans for a community garden in Donegall Pass, the revival of some Victorian archways in the Markets area, and the restoration of a derelict industrial building for use as a community resource.
Over in East Belfast, one team helped generate fresh thinking on how to bring life and livelihood to the marginalised communities of the Lower Newtownards Road. Simultaneously, a second team, in conjunction with Cancer Focus NI, developed strategies for raising awareness of, and mitigating the risks of skin cancer in the neighbourhood. And in the Ballymac Friendship Centre a team from QUBe music collective led enjoyable workshops in improvised music making for members for members of the community of all ages and abilities.
Finally, in Derry-Londonderry, the team addressed dereliction and vandalism problems by helping create a sense of ‘ownership’ among local young people; helped develop ideas and a business plan for a proposed new Arts and Enterprise Centre in the Fountain area; and developed a series of ideas to help a community come together in spite of divisions symbolised by the security wall at Bishops Gate.